03/27/2004 1:00AM

Kenny Smith arrested at Oaklawn


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Trainer Kenny Smith was arrested in the Oaklawn Park racing office on Friday afternoon on a felony charge of theft over $2,500, according to a report in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette. Smith, who was released on $20,000 bond, allegedly sold an interest in a horse that did not exist.

The police said on Saturday morning that records in the case would not be opened until Monday afternoon.

The Gazette reported that Wayne Roberts, in a complaint filed last week, said he purchased an interest in Cherry Won from Smith for $20,000 in December 2002. Roberts said he did not receive registration documents for the horse, nor a death certificate when he was told the horse had to be euthanized after fracturing a leg in March 2003.

Smith said on Saturday morning that he is innocent, and that the horse in question existed, but was unnamed. He said he was advised by lawyers not to comment further.

Smith, who operates a large stable, is best known for training millionaire Silver Goblin.