KY Again Puts Off Licensing Houghton

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has once again put off granting a license to jockey Terry Houghton, who was caught up in, but never charged, an investigation into irregular betting patterns in 2006.

Houghton was one of seven jockeys ruled off by Tampa Bay after agents of the Thoroughbred Racing and Protective Bureau began looking into irregular betting patterns at races in Michigan and Tampa Bay in 2006. Of those excluded from the track, only one–Ricardo Valdes–has faced any charges.

Since the Tampa Bay incident, Houghton has been licensed to ride in at least nine states and has been subjected to investigations in Michigan and Illinois before those states granted him a license.

The KHRC’s license review committee decided to postpone action on Houghton's application and leave his case open until a Michigan case involving one of the seven riders excluded from Tampa Bay is completed.

Chris Clark, director of licensing for the commission, said he did not know the exact status of the Michigan case but that it was the understanding of the KHRC staff that the case was still ongoing. Clark said Houghton also was agreeable to having his license application put on hold until the Michigan case was satisfied.

In other action Feb. 1, the license review committee denied a trainer’s license to Joseph Crescini, who had been found guilty of cruelty to animals in a 2007 incident in Nelson County, Ky. The charges stemmed from an Oct. 12, 2007 investigation by Nelson County Animal Control and local law authorities, who claim they found two dead horses and 12 “severely” undernourished horses–most believed to be Thoroughbreds--at a property on Plum Run Road.

The committee continued the jockey license application of Jorge G. Bracho, until an interpreter can be available to assist with his appearance before the committee. It is tentatively scheduled to be heard Feb. 9.

Ernest Dale Jarvis, who had served a sentence after pleading guilty to wanton endangerment, was given the option by the committee of withdrawing his application for a trainer’s license.

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