04/25/2007 12:00AM

Arlington bans Houghton


Jockey Terry Houghton has been forbidden to ride at Arlington Park this summer, a ban the track says is stemming from an ongoing investigation launched last year by the Thoroughbred Racing and Protective Bureau, and thought to focus on suspicious betting on races at Great Lakes Downs last summer, where Houghton has regularly been the leading rider.

Houghton and six other jockeys originally were banned from Tampa Bay Downs last December. The number of banned riders eventually swelled to 10, and the ban was enforced at other venues. Houghton was rebuffed in an attempt to ride at Turfway Park over the winter, but was allowed to join the jockey colony at the ongoing Hawthorne Race Course meet, which began in late February and ends this week. Hawthorne officials said they had been given no information that would warrant Houghton being banned, and that he was free to operate at the track as long as no further evidence against him was presented, and he was not indicted. Derek Bell, another among the group banned at Tampa, also rode at the beginning of the Hawthorne season. Houghton had hoped to shift his tack to Arlington when racing moves across Chicago next week.

Julie Koenig Loignon, a spokesperson for Churchill Downs Inc., Arlington's parent company, confirmed Houghton's ban late Wednesday afternoon. Koenig also said that Rene Douglas, who was banned from Calder Race Course five days before Tampa ruled off the group of riders, would be allowed to ride at Arlington. After initially being denied the right to ride at Gulfstream Park this past winter, Douglas was permitted to join that jockey colony, and has ridden this month at Keeneland. Douglas also has mounts on Saturday at Calder, another CDI-owned track.