Jockey Ron Hansen, a top rider at Golden Gate Fields, was banned from the track Sunday in wake of a probe of "the conduct of racing" at the track, officials said.
Track officials gave no specific reason for the move except to say, "The Pacific Racing Assn. has been investigating the conduct of racing at Golden Gate Fields." They refused to comment on the nature of the investigation.
Some race books at Nevada casinos, reportedly upset by a couple of longshot winners at the Bay Meadows track across San Francisco Bay, began refusing to handle bets on Bay Meadows races or severely limited them.
The Bay Area racing season recently shifted from Bay Meadows in San Mateo to Golden Gate Fields in Albany, about 20 miles away.
Hansen is the top rider at Golden Gate Fields with 16 victories, and has been a top rider in previous seasons.
The ban, signed by Peter W. Tunney, vice president and general manager of Golden Gate Fields, said Hansen will be "subject to arrest" if he enters the grounds without prior authorization of the association.
Tunney cited a state Horse Racing Board rule authorizing the association to "deny access to or to remove any person from its premises . . . for any reason the association deems appropriate . . . "
A track spokesman refused to elaborate on the move.
"He was banned solely for the reasons that we have stated and there's no further comment," Steve Sexton, track marketing director, said.