During the course of his 20-year career, Houghton twice won the riding title at Tampa Bay Downs and led the Great Lakes Downs’ jockey standings three times. His two best seasons came in 1999 (when he ranked third nationally in wins, trailing only all-time leading rider Russell Baze and Edgar Prado), and in 1995 (when he finished with the second most wins in the U.S.).
Houghton’s career began in his home state of Michigan. His 1,000th win came at Detroit Race Course. The 2,000th came at Tampa Bay Downs. He accomplished career victory 3,000 in 2002 at Great Lakes Downs. Career victory 4,000 came in his first summer riding at Canterbury Park.
“I never imagined I’d have the opportunity to ride this many winners,” Houghton said. “When I first started, I thought winning 1,000 would be quite an accomplishment. As long as I stay healthy and have success, I plan to keep riding. I would like to get to 5,000.”
Houghton is the 52nd rider to win 4,000 or more races.