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Police are on the lookout for veteran jockey Roman Chapa, who faces felony charges after allegedly using a battery shock to spur his horse to victory at a Texas race.
Chap and his horse Quiet Acceleration were locked in fifth place at the Richard King Stakes at Sam Houston Race Park on Jan. 17, when the horse suddenly kicked into gear and ended up winning the $50,000 first place prize by half a length. The odds against Quient Acceleration were 10-1. But photographs taken at the finish line show Chapa hiding what officials say is a small electric device in the palm of his hand, according to the Daily Racing Forum
Chapa, 43, was charged with one count of unlawful influence on racing by the Harris County District Attorney. Texas statutes provide that the charge is a Class A misdemeanor unless “the actor possessed the device or substance with the intent to influence or affect the outcome of a horse or greyhound race,” in which case it is a “state jail felony.”...
Chapa was charged after an investigation into the incident conducted by the Texas Department of Public Safety. In a report on the investigation prepared by Jeffrey Green of the Texas DPS, Chapa was said to have contacted Sam Houston’s track photographer, Jack Coady, seeking to get a finish-line photo of the race in question removed from the track’s website. The photo, taken from the rail side of the track rather than the grandstand side, shows what appears to be the bottom of the device in Chapa’s left hand.