03/06/2015 12:57PM

Chapa's fine for alleged buzzer use increased to $100,000

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Coady Photography/DRF Illustration
Quiet Acceleration and jockey Roman Chapa win the Richard King Stakes on Jan. 17. Chapa is charged with a felony for allegedly using a buzzer during the race.

A Texas Racing Commission official has increased a fine assessed to jockey Roman Chapa for allegedly using an electrical device from $25,000 to $100,000, according to documents provided by the commission. The case concerns the Richard King Stakes, run at Sam Houston Race Park on Jan. 17. 

Chapa won the race aboard Quiet Acceleration, but last week at a hearing before the Sam Houston board of stewards, the rider was suspended for five years and fined $25,000. The stewards also referred his case to Chuck Trout, the executive director of the commission, for further consideration. In addition, the Sam Houston stewards disqualified Quiet Acceleration and ordered that the purse of the $50,000 race be redistributed.

Chapa has appealed the decision to the commission.  

Trout acted on his authority to modify the fine for several reasons, he outlined in an order provided by the commission. Trout cited “aggravating circumstances,” writing that the case was Chapa’s third violation for possession of a prohibited device. Trout cited cases in 1994 in Texas and 2001 in New Mexico. He also said the current case has damaged the reputation of Sam Houston.

The stewards in January said they began an investigation into the case after seeing a photo of the race in which it appeared that Chapa was holding something in his hand.

The next step in the case is for Chapa’s appeal to move to the state office of administrative hearings for an evidentiary hearing, said Robert Elrod, a spokesman for the commission. No hearing date has been scheduled, Elrod said Friday.