05/13/2002 11:00PM

A healthy Valhol takes aim at Lone Star Cap


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - Valhol, a two-time stakes winner during the recent Fair Grounds meet, is on schedule to make the Grade 3, $300,000 Lone Star Park Handicap on May 27 after missing last month's Grade 3, $300,000 Texas Mile.

Valhol's training schedule suffered a setback this spring when he became uncomfortable after being fitted with new shoes and was found to have two displaced nails in one of his feet. "He had two hot nails at Fair Grounds," said trainer Dallas Keen, who also was not pleased with the gelding's blood count last month, and subsequently bypassed the Texas Mile.

Valhol has since become himself again, and was scheduled to work five furlongs on Thursday.

"It took quite a bit to get his feet back," said Keen. "He's come around good. He's picked it up in his works, and his coat looks better. He's on the improve. If everything continues to go good, we'll run in the handicap."

Valhol has made only one career start at Lone Star, winning a conditioned allowance at the 1 1/16-mile distance of the Lone Star Park Handicap by more than six lengths in 1999. He has not raced since finishing eighth in the Grade 2, $500,000 New Orleans Handicap on March 3.

Before that race, Valhol won the $125,000 Whirlaway Handicap over eventual New Orleans Handicap winner Parade Leader, and the $75,000 Tenacious Handicap, both at Fair Grounds. Overall, he has won 5 of 17 starts and $380,350.

Keen said he might start recent allowance winner Steel Shot on turf in the $200,000 WinStar Distaff on the Lone Star Park Handicap undercard. She is a half-sister to Rayanegra, a stakes winner at Lone Star, and Oro Negra, a winner on turf at Fair Grounds.

Steel Shot showed a new dimension in her last start when she came from off the pace to win a two-turn allowance by three lengths May 5. Overall, she is 3 for 6.

Kris's Sleigh takes on G All Day

Kris's Sleigh and G All Day, who finished second and third last out to multiple stakes winner Nat's Big Party, will not have to face that rival Thursday night in the featured eighth race, a 1 1/16-mile optional claimer worth $32,000.

Kris's Sleigh, who has more speed than most of his rivals, was caught by Nat's Big Party in his last start May 4, and beaten a length. It was three-quarters of a length back in third to G All Day.

Since the race, Kris's Sleigh has worked well for trainer Steve Asmussen, who has given the mount to Corey Lanerie.

Gerard Melancon will ride G All Day, who seems to be improving with each start for trainer Chris Candies.

* This weekend is the calm before the storm at Lone Star. There are no stakes scheduled, but next weekend, the track will run the $150,000 Stonerside Stakes for 3-year-old fillies on May 25, then the Lone Star Park Handicap and six other stakes two days later on Lone Star Million Day, May 27.

* Jockey E.J. Perrodin, who took a hard fall in the seventh race Sunday when his mount broke down, will not ride Thursday because of lower back pain. The earliest he could return to the saddle is Sunday.