Houghton Becomes 20th Jockey to Win 6,000 races

Jockey T. D."Terry" Houghton became just the 20th rider to win 6,000 races in North America when he guided My Bets to a 5 1/2-length victory in the eighth race at Thistledown Sept. 15. According to Equibase statistics, just five active riders in North America have won more races than Houghton: Perry Ouzts, Edgar Prado, Mario Pino, John Velazquez, and Kent Desormeaux. My Bets, the heavy favorite, stalked the pace along in the $20,000 maiden race before being angled out by Houghton and drawing away under a hand ride from the veteran jockey. The Phil Simms-trained Include filly raced a mile and 40 yards on a fast track in 1:45.90, paying $2.80. She is owned by Leslie Cutchins and Sarah and William Fishback, her breeder. The son of jockey Ron Houghton, Terry Houghton was born in Denver in 1970 before being raised in Michigan, where he became a leading rider at Detroit Race Course. He topped the standings there in 1995 and did so every year thereafter until DRC closed in 1998. He added leading-rider titles at Tampa Bay Downs, Mountaineer Park, Pinnacle Race Course, and Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course. He has ridden more than 37,000 races and his mounts have earned more than $63.7 million in purses. His richest year by earnings came in 2015 when his mounts made nearly $3.5 million. Four times from 1995-2001, he won more than 300 races during a calendar year. Going down in a spill in 2002, Houghton suffered a brain injury and didn't return to riding until more than 15 months later. Years afterward, his reputation was questioned after he and other jockeys were part of a lengthy investigation by the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau regarding allegations of race-fixing in Michigan and Florida in 2006. Houghton maintained his innocence. Though he was never charged, the investigation caused licensing issues for him in the years that followed in some states, including Kentucky, where years later he would be licensed again. Other states also licensed him. Houghton recovered from a fractured vertebra and broken collarbone in March of 2014 before suffering multiple injuries after his mount fell at Mountaineer later that year. He was voted "Comeback Rider of the Year," by The Jockeys' Guild for his 2014-2015 season.