02/11/2015 11:01AM

Sam Houston stewards deny Chapa's appeal

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.

Stewards at Sam Houston Race Park have denied an appeal lodged by jockey Roman Chapa, ruling on Tuesday afternoon that an allegation that the rider used an electrical device on a horse at the track in January “constitutes an immediate danger to the public health, safety, and welfare.”

Under the ruling, Chapa has been granted a full hearing Feb. 27 but will remain unable to ride until then. Chapa was suspended by the Sam Houston stewards Jan. 19, two days after a photograph of him riding Quiet Acceleration to victory in the Richard King Stakes appeared to show the jockey holding a device in his left hand, on the rail side of the track.

Chapa was later charged with a felony by the Harris County District Attorney following an investigation by the Texas Department of Public Safety. The investigator claimed that Chapa asked Sam Houston’s track photographer to remove the picture after it was posted, and that Chapa claimed the photograph had been altered.

A hearing into the felony charge is scheduled for March 18.

Chapa has twice been suspended for using a foreign object on a horse, in 1994 in Texas and in 2007 in New Mexico. The 2007 ban lasted five years.

TOM More than 1 year ago
if you're not cheating, you're only cheating yourself!
TOM More than 1 year ago
if yer not cheatin, yer cheatin yerself
Frank More than 1 year ago
We (as race fans/bettors) cant stop the corruption however my stance on this is. Any racetrack where this multiple proven cheater of a jockey rides -- I will refuse to bet there. Because if racing ever allows this cheater back -- they are also cheaters! Cheaters stick together and cover up for each other! Also the trainer should be thrown out of racing - he is also a cheater -- I will not bet in any race he has a horse in.
Mark Everhart More than 1 year ago
Yes, let him ride. Bet on the cheater and WIN. he he he
Daniel Peters More than 1 year ago
Did they find the device? If not, it is all circumstantial.
Brian More than 1 year ago
I don't think that word - circumstantial - means what you think it means. Evidence is circumstantial if it requires use of an inference - a leap in logic - to conclude something happened: like "he has a history of buzzing and the horse ran like he'd been buzzed, therefore I infer the horse was buzzed." A picture of the buzzer is direct evidence.
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
Amazing how these apologists for crooks are always out there. circumstantial is the proof of your intelligence. CHAPA has been caught twice.and now there a picture of him with a foreign object (foreign to what he should have in his hand in a race). and he tries to get the picture removed.the picture is direct evidence. the fact that he tried to get rid of it and that he has a record collaborates the evidence.as for motive his is the same as it was in the previous times he cheated.as to the photo being doctored he has not yet provided any proof or motive as to why the photographer would go out and do that. Seems like the only one with a motive an opportunity and an inclination to commit this crime was CHAPA.