Tampa Bay Bans Seven Jockeys; Probe Ongoing

Tampa Bay Downs ruled off seven jockeys effective Dec. 19 because of what management called an "ongoing investigation" being conducted by the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau.

Officials at the track on Florida's Gulf Coast said Jorge G. Bracho, Derek C. Bell, Luis A. Castillo, Jose H. Delgado, Terry D. Houghton, Joseph C. Judice, and Ricardo A. Valdes have been refused access to the facility "for an indefinite period of time based on its rights as a private property owner."

Tampa Bay general manager Peter Berube said the track took the action as a result of the TRPB investigation and is fully cooperating. He said the track "has no further comment at this time."

On Dec. 15, Calder Race Course in South Florida banned jockey Rene Douglas and offered no comment on the reason. Calder management also noted the track is private property, and management can take such action.

It isn't known if the action taken by Tampa Bay and Calder management is related.

At Tampa, the banned jockeys are among the leaders at the meet that began Dec. 9. Through Dec. 17, Bracho had won two races, Bell three races, Castillo one race, Delgado one race, and Houghton two races.