The Arkansas Racing Commission has appointed longtime racing official and state steward James Lages to the position of state steward for the 2021-2022 Oaklawn live season, which runs Friday, Dec. 3, 2021 to Sunday, May 8, 2022.

“We are excited to have James Lages as the state steward of Arkansas,” Arkansas Racing Commission Chairman Alex Lieblong said. “He brings a wealth of experience to the position, including having the insight only a former rider could have. His knowledge will be invaluable as we continue to work with Oaklawn to make Arkansas one of the strongest racing jurisdictions in the country.”

Lages is currently serving as state steward at Indiana Grand. He has also held the state steward position at Gulfstream Park, Pompano-Isle Casino, Colonial Downs, Monmouth Park, Delaware Park, Calder Racecourse and Fairmount Park. Lages began his career in racing as a multiple-stakes winning jockey and has held various positions as a racing official, including Patrol Judge, Paddock Judge and Claims Clerk. He was the Clerk of Scales at Monmouth Park for 11 seasons.

“I’m excited, it’s an honor to be appointed State Steward of Arkansas,” Lages said. “Oaklawn has a rich racing history, great horsemen and a great future. I’ve already had a really warm welcome. I’m looking forward to the meet.”