Paying Tribute To A Champion: Oaklawn Park Unveils Statue Of American Pharoah

by | 01.11.2018 | 3:44pm
A bronze sculpture of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah was unveiled at Oaklawn Park Jan. 11. The Zayat Stables colorbearer prepped for the classics at Oaklawn Park in 2015

In a ceremony held the morning of Jan. 11, Oaklawn Park officials unveiled a bronze sculpture of 2015 Triple Crown winner, American Pharoah.

The statue, which was commissioned by the late Charles Cella, is part of a redesigned entrance to the grandstand.

General Manager Wayne Smith welcomed the crowd, and both President Louis Cella and Deputy Chief of Staff for External Operations Bill Gossage, (standing in for Gov. Asa Hutchinson), gave a short speech. Attending the ceremony were about 100 fans, Oaklawn employees, state and city officials and members of the Arkansas Racing Commission and Arkansas HBPA.

The artist, James Peniston, was also in attendance. Peniston's father was a long-time friend of Charles Cella and his mother designed the Oaklawn hedge, but this was his first bronze of a horse. It took him over a year to complete the statue.

American Pharoah prepped for his sweep of the 2015 classics with a victory in the G2 Rebel and G1 Arkansas Derby.

  • R.A.C.E. Fund, Inc.


  • Don Martello

    First time doing a bronze of a horse, you nailed it, just beautiful. Wish I had a smaller version for my sofa table.

  • Dadnatron

    That is a great choice. I was fearing it would be another ‘conformation’ statue. Captures what I think about him very well.

  • Ida Lee

    I first fell head-over-heals for the great Pharoah after watching the Rebel …..this gorgeous, sweet boy just showed something special from the beginning….just floated over the track….never saw anything like it….this is a beautiful tribute to a beautiful Champion…

  • OopsyDaisy3

    Love the statue, stunning art work and i can hear the crowd cheering as i look at every muscle and hoof but especially American Pharoah’s ears. For some silly unknown reason i always will look at the ears to determine if they know where the wire is and American Pharoah did. Linda in Texas

  • Audrey Gulla

    Wow! What power & energy…..just like American Pharoah himself! Even his ‘little’ tail looks good! Wonderful!

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