02/09/2015 2:49PM

More time sought on Chapa charge


Roman Chapa, the jockey charged in Texas with a felony for allegedly using an electrical device on a horse, appeared at an arraignment on Friday in a Harris County court in Texas but did not enter a plea after representatives of the county and his attorney asked for additional time to investigate the charge, according to Harris County officials.

Chapa, who was suspended by the Texas Racing Commission on Jan. 19, remains free on a $10,000 bond. He was charged with a felony by the district attorney on Jan. 23 after an investigation determined there was probable cause to charge the jockey, who has been suspended twice before for using a foreign object on a horse during a race.

Following the requests to delay the arraignment, the court scheduled a hearing for March 18, according to court records.

Chapa’s attorney did not return a phone message by Monday afternoon.

An official with the Harris County District Attorney’s office said on Monday that an investigation into the charge remains open. The previous investigation revealed that Chapa had asked a track photographer at Sam Houston Race Park to remove a photo from the track’s website shortly after it was posted, showing what appears to be an object in Chapa’s left hand. The investigator said that Chapa claimed in an interview that the photo was altered.

The photo was taken, from the inside rail, at the finish of a Jan. 17 stakes race that Chapa won on Quiet Acceleration. The trainer and owner of the horse have denied that they had any knowledge that Chapa used a device on the horse. The purse from the race is being withheld until an investigation into the race is complete.

Considering his previous suspensions and racing’s current efforts to crack down on illegal activities, Chapa is likely facing a lifetime ban from the state racing commission.