10/10/2002 11:00PM

Jackson giving up racing interests


Texas-based owner James Jackson has decided to get out of the racing business largely, he said, because he has never been able to distance himself from the Valhol scandal of 1999.

Jackson owns Valhol, who was disqualified from victory in that year's $500,000 Arkansas Derby after his rider, Billy Patin, was found to have carried an electrial device in the race.

Jackson fought Valhol's disqualification all the way to the Arkansas Supreme Court but ultimately lost.

"I've never been able to shake that deal," said Jackson, 48. "It hurt my family and it hurt a lot of my friends, and it definitely took a lot of fun out of this. My wife and I talked about it, and I decided I'd had enough.

Jackson is in the process of privately selling all of his 40 racehorses, broodmares, and weanlings, but will probably end up keeping Valhol, who is in training in Kentucky with Jackson's longtime trainer Dallas Keen. Jackson also is leasing out stall space at his 784-acre showplace training center in Rockdale, Texas.