03/19/2015 10:08AM

Jockey Chapa charged with lying to investigators

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.

Roman Chapa, the Texas jockey suspended for five years for allegedly using an electrical device on a horse, was arrested Wednesday morning shortly before an arraignment on a felony charge of attempting to fix a race and charged with lying to investigators, according to Texas officials.

The additional charge was lodged by Harris County, Texas, prosecutors following the release of an indictment last week by a county grand jury. The indictment mirrored the charge of unlawful influence on racing, a felony that Chapa had already been charged with by Harris County prosecutors following an investigation one week after Chapa’s ride in a Jan. 17 race at Sam Houston came under suspicion.

Chapa remained in custody Thursday morning, according to Jeff McShan, a spokesman for the Harris County District Attorney’s office. He will be eligible to post bond later today, McShan said.

During the investigation, Chapa had said that he did not attempt to contact Sam Houston’s track photographer, Jack Coady, about a picture Coady posted on the track’s website that appears to show an object in Chapa’s left hand. The investigators said that Chapa’s phone records proved that he did contact the photographer, according to a statement provided by the Harris County District Attorney’s office. 

Chapa, 43, was suspended indefinitely by Sam Houston stewards two days after the race. Two weeks ago, the state racing commission suspended the jockey for five years, the harshest penalty it could levy. The executive director of the racing commission later approved a $100,000 fine.

Chapa has been suspended three times during his career for using an object on a horse.

Mike Martino More than 1 year ago
I never cared for a rider that wasn't humble , he gave the sport a black eye now everyone thinks there a buzzer and trainers are cheating . It's false has it happened yes but we've had deflate gate , hotels in Vegas are erected by losers . Positions are the biggest crooks. Like solyndra and Bengazi . Most horse don't run from an electrical devices but I would rather get shocked the whipped. Roman is on film a picture is a thousand words . Roman I never cared for you and your not good for the sport . The best part his x wife took the picture
Patricia Hinman More than 1 year ago
I am not sure why they use the whip, or anything else, A movie on Amazon.com instant video, "The Speed of Orange" , is about a famous jockey and his family who are now in the Hall Of Fame. His secret was not to whip the horse who is accelerating. As for these cheaters, they will get their just deserts. It's just a matter of time.
Chris Luckie More than 1 year ago
Truth beknown that an electrical device does by far less harm to a horse then a whip. In reality about 1out of 10 respond to the electrical device. Until they legalize it don't use it.
Jim Fields More than 1 year ago
Frank More than 1 year ago
This guy is not the only cheater. This is proof that horse racing's officials and governing bodies along with trainers and owners are also big cheaters. This guy has been caught 3 times red handed and he is still NOT banned for life. This makes me want to quit this sport now. The cheating goes all the way to the top. Chapa is just the Oswald patsy of this horse racing conspiracy!
John Tottenham More than 1 year ago
Yeah, Chapa's the patsy. His trainers must be sweating.
Cold More than 1 year ago
horse racing is by far the most corrupt gambling related industry. For everyone that catch there are 1000 that get away. From race fixing by the jockey's and trainers to drugging horses to stiffing horses it happens every hour of each race day...Chapa is just one that got caught...oh and notice if he wasn't so dumb bringing this attention to himself he gets away with it like most do. While other forms of gambling that have appeal to younger audience like DFS or poker flourish horse racing is just dying...
Sabir Ali More than 1 year ago
What happened to the trainer ?? I guess , he did not know ( The trainer ) what Chapa did to his horse ? Or authorities and officials don.t want to mess around with trainers ?? I wish good luck to Mr. Chapa And more so to Mr. Pish , I think they are trying prove that " Honesty is not the best policy " Life time ban is more suitable for everyone involved ....
Raymond Hackinson More than 1 year ago
The guy is no good. Three times!! Does that include this time? Even twice before is too much. I'm sure he also used devices when he wasn't caught. Any trainer who used him knew of his past and deserves what he got.
tommy More than 1 year ago
It's too bad frank didn't read this article. This is one form of cheating !!