James Jackson's Valhol, who was disqualified from victory in the 1999 Arkansas Derby after officials ruled his jockey was in possession of an electrical device, won Tuesday at Delaware Park in his first start of the year. Valhol, a 4-year-old gelding by Diazo, is trained by Dallas Keen.
Jockey Ricky Frazier rated Valhol just off the pace for three-quarters of a mile in the 1 1/16-mile allowance event, then asked him for run on the far turn. Valhol moved to second in the stretch and pulled away to a 1 1/2-length victory in 1:43.74 on a sloppy track. Miles River was second, and Bull Halsey third.
Valhol developed a chip in a knee, perhaps in last year's Ohio Derby, and hit the sidelines. He was sent to Jackson's Valhalla Farm near Rockdale, Texas, where he recuperated and eventually returned to training. Jackson said earlier this year he looked forward to the gelding's return to the races. "We want him dead right mentally and physically," Jackson said.
In the case of the Arkansas Derby, the purse was redistributed, and Jackson appealed a judge's ruling that backed the action of the Arkansas Racing Commission.