James Jackson's Valhol put in a bullet work at Colonial Downs Tuesday morning in preparation for Saturday night's $400,000 Meadowlands Cup (gr. II). The 4-year-old gelded son of Diazo will be making his second start since bone chip surgery following his third-place finish in the 1999 Ohio Derby (gr. II).
The Dallas Keen trainee completed four furlong in :46 2/5, the fastest of six works at the distance by a full two seconds. Keen said Valhol went in splits of :11 and :33 with a five furlong gallop out time of 1:01. "They (track officials) said it was the bullet work of the whole meet," Keen added.
Valhol returned from a 13-month layoff to win a Delaware Park allowance race by 1 1/2 lengths. "He's a very professional horse," the conditioner said. "In his first race back at Delaware, he walked out like he'd been there every day. He did everything right."
The Ohio Derby placing is the only official black type on Valhol's resume. The gelding, however, did win the Arkansas Derby (gr. II) on the track before being disqualified when it was ruled that his jockey, Billy Patin, carried an illegal electrical device during the race.
Valhol's likely opponents in the 1 1/8-mile Meadowlands Cup, in which Valhol will carry 112 pounds, are Leave It to Beezer (117 pounds), Rize (114), Vision and Verse (114), Talk's Cheap (112), With Anticipation (112), and Lord Sterling (112). Dancin Rahy (112) and Where's Taylor (113) are considered as possible entrants.