Chapa Summarily Suspended in Texas, Pending Investigation

by | 01.18.2015 | 6:59pm
The photo that led to Roman Chapa's five-year suspension (Coady Photography)
The photo that led to Roman Chapa's five-year suspension (Coady Photography)

Jockey Roman Chapa, whose career has been interrupted twice for carrying an illegal device used to stimulate horses, has been summarily suspended by Texas Racing Commission stewards investigating his ride aboard Quiet Acceleration, winner of the $50,000 Richard King Stakes on Saturday night at Sam Houston Race Park in Houston.

A photograph of the finish – taken from the inside rail of the 1 1/8-mile turf race by the official track photographer, Coady Photography – shows what appears to be a small object in the palm of Chapa's left hand.

Chapa met with stewards at 9 a.m. (Central) on Monday morning following Sunday's dark day at Sam Houston. “There are two issues,” presiding steward David Rollinson said prior to the meeting. “Whether he will ride today (Chapa is named on five mounts), and there will be an ongoing investigation.”

Following the meeting, replacement riders were named for all five races in which Chapa had been named to ride on Monday.

Steward Dennis Sidener confirmed that Chapa would not be allowed to ride until further notice. “As of this moment, Roman Chapa is summarily suspended,” Sidener said. “At this time's it's still being investigated.”

Quiet Acceleration, owned and trained by Danny Pish, rallied from fifth in the final furlong to win by a half-length at odds of 10-1. Quiet Acceleration also won the 2014 running of the Richard King Stakes under Chapa. The Texas-bred son of Silent Picture came into this year's renewal off five consecutive losses under different jockeys.

Chapa has won with five of seven mounts, with one second and a third-place finish, on the first two programs of the 2015 Sam Houston Race Park meeting. On Friday's opening night, he rode three horses for Pish, winning twice and finishing second once. One of the winners, Infectious, was a homebred racing for William S. Farish, the former vice chairman of The Jockey Club and owner of Lane's End Farm.

On Saturday Chapa won races for trainers Steve Asmussen and Karl Broberg, in addition to his victory in the King Stakes for Pish. He finished third with his other mount, also for Pish, who has multiple training titles at the three Texas racetracks: Sam Houston, Lone Star Park and Retama Park. Pish and Chapa have combined for numerous victories together.

Electrical devices like this one used to stimulate horses are prohibited in racing

Electrical devices like this one used to stimulate horses are prohibited in racing

 

Chapa was suspended for nine months and fined $2,500 by stewards at Trinity Meadows in Texas in October 1994, while still an apprentice. The ruling says Chapa “stated he used a nail on his mount, Silver Sixes, during the running of the second race on Aug. 13, 1994, at Gillespie County Fair.” Silver Sixes won the Quarter horse futurity trial but was disqualified and placed last for his jockey's admission.

He received a five-year suspension from New Mexico stewards for possession of an electrical device in 2007 in connection with the Asmussen-trained Right Place N Time after a fifth-place finish at Sunland Park on Feb. 17, 2007. Chapa was granted a probationary license in June 2011 prior to serving the full five years of that suspension.

Chapa's name came up in the 2014 investigation of the Asmussen stable by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals when assistant trainer Scott Blasi was taped at a dinner party saying the jockey, who has ridden nearly 1,000 horses for Asmussen, hid the device in his mouth to avoid detection.

“That silly-ass Roman Chapa put it in his mouth in New Mexico,” said Blasi in the secretly taped conversation with Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens and Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas. “They came in to shake him down, he stuck it in his mouth, then he spit it out in his wash bucket.” In other sections of the taped conversation, Lukas, a member of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, said jockeys would sometimes hide the device under the blinkers of a horse. Lukas was referencing his days as a Quarter horse trainer 40 years ago.

According to Equibase, Chapa has 1,712 career victories from 10,179 mounts, which have earned $25,870,886. His career began in 1993 but he did not ride in 1996 or from 2008-10.

The Paulick Report was unable to reach Chapa through his agent, Toby Cathey, who did not respond to phone calls or text and voice messages.

The original version of this article had incorrect details on Roman Chapa's first infraction for carrying a prohibited device in 1994. The device he admitted to using on a horse was a nail, not an electrical device as previously reported in the Paulick Report and other publications.

  • Charles Smith

    Oh……You mean the same Roman Chapa who was referenced by Scott Blasi, the Scott Blasi associated with the Steve Asmussen barn, the Steve Asmussen who posters at this website think is getting such a raw deal, the guy who the Kentucky commission cleared. Oh yea, he’s a great guy. Steve Asmussen should get in the Horse Racing Hall of Fame the same day Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds and Mark Mc Guire get in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

    • secondlife

      Same thing I was thinking as I read this!

      • kim gillette

        to both of you, he bragged to me when he knocked my horse over coming out of gates at Ruidoso in big trials, that buzzer worked didn’t it?they call him the machine, id like him to take a bath with it

    • togahombre

      i know it’s really cool to be out in front of this kind of stuff but this article is really a bit short on facts other than the horse, the race, the trainer and owner, it does mention that he won a race for mr asmussen the same day, but no connection to this incident, being the first one to pile on can be thrilling, but if he’s not not involved, what then

      • secondlife

        It’s easy to believe that if he was willing to do it in one race, he may have been willing to do it in others.

        • togahombre

          i agree, but there’s no mention of it in the article and any connection would just be speculation, i’m all for punishment that means something but you still have to be fair

          • jazz mania

            Anything is fair in a witch hunt…

            unless your the object of the hunt.

            Personally, I think the battery manufacturer is a culpable as Asmussen in this one.

          • togahombre

            don’t go letting edison off so easy

          • jazz mania

            Yeah, Edison was kind of rough on Topsy.

      • Barbara Bowen

        All I need to know is that Asmussen is dumb enough to use a jockey who is well and widely known to use a buzzer. 1,000 x Dumb. #WinAtAllCosts

        • togahombre

          well than would it be fair to chase down every outfit he rode for, or that vet in indiana, go after every barn he was in

          • Barbara Bowen

            Only if they are well known, have won an Eclipse, trained a champion, or are (not) on a HOF ballot;-)

          • togahombre

            i’ve been up since 4:30 am, this ain’t fair

        • betterthannothing

          Owners, trainers, jockeys, vets and assorted enablers that are allowed by “the game” to directly and indirectly perpetuate cruelty toward race horses (on and off track), human endangerment and fraudulent/criminal acts find such behavior normal, palatable and the only way to win and satisfy their shameless greed. It is not a matter of being dumb, it is a matter of being numb and totally morally bankrupt.

      • Charles Smith

        Have a nice evening.

      • youcantmakeitup

        Chapa has a reputation for packing a machine. Asmussen knows that. Then there are riders who will test one on a horse while working him in the morning.And he tells no one.Not even the trainer. Some riders , like trainers are always looking for an edge. At the cheaper, smaller tracks,cheating of all kinds is more prevalent.

      • jazz mania

        What I find hard to believe is that with current battery and semiconductor technology, no one is making smaller and easier to conceal machines. I could easily make one that could be hidden in a glove,s palm… ( I have had some suspicions )

        Has anyone has taken the time to look at a replay and see if the horse twitches his tail up and accelerates in an unnatural way or out of sync with the whip and other urging?

        I agree that it is unfair to convict someone in the court of public opinion; but then again, it’s tough to change your nickname once you’ve been caught with the goat.

        • Elzey

          They do make them smaller, it is rampant in LA and Texas and he is far from the only one using it.

          • jazz mania

            I found one on the ‘instuctables’ website smaller than a penny. Made by a 15 year old. Edmund Scientific sells a “shocking” pen made to discourage co-workers from borrowing.

            At the FG, I see horses turn on their afterburners with no apparent rider input all the time. Many jocks here have the “reputation.”

          • Elzey

            It’s an everyday thing

        • togahombre

          could it be made without a metal conductor

          • jazz mania

            Yep — Carbon Fiber

        • hype22redux

          easy sir,you make too much sense…now I wonder who uses gloves in California,and who wins a lot of races whipping with just the right whip,and whose horses even with bad trips ,poor riding decisions and seemingly being pushed along way to early,and still wins….let me see who could that be ,who????????????

    • bluespur

      Well said!!

    • Ben van den Brink

      What was the outcome of the race, and did they changed it or not?

      • jazz mania

        Horse won at 10:1 and even if the results are changed the betting public is still screwed.

        • Ben van den Brink

          Than I, if I was an bettor, I would take the case to civil court. And ask for loss compensation.

          • Tinky

            The judge would scold you for failing to play the hot Pish/Chapa combination, and throw the case out.

          • jazz mania

            Being in Texas, the Judge would probably award the plaintiff a bible and admonish him for his indulgence in the cravings of man.

            Personally I think Ben has a point and would like to hear a legal opinion on the validity of a class action lawsuit. Might bring a whole new meaning to: “Save all tickets until…”

          • togahombre

            they tried that about 25 years ago in ny, the allumeuse dq, horse was a few lengths from the foul but got “mistakenly” dq’d, after it went official they didn’t show the replay, later on the stewards claimed one of the placing judges gave them the wrong horse, replay monitors must’ve been on the fritz, group of players led by a retired heavyweight fighter tried to sue nyra but it went nowhere, lot of different ways to lose a race

          • 2hoursfromsaratoga

            Gardner vs NYRA….(1986)

          • Ben van den Brink

            I really do not think so, if the buzzer is a moot point, than in civil court your gooiing to win as tempering is not allowed even in the US. With the help from the FBI, this case would be an easy one. Evidence is already there on the pic. And a 10:1 makes the outcome easier than a 3:1

          • Ben van no Bet

            HaHa, like we couldnt tell you dont bet.
            good one lol

          • ben van den Brink

            I bet once a while. But with this case someone ( the jock) has robbed you off from income, if you picked up ( for a win) the horse that now was second.

        • 4Bellwether666

          Every damn time…

    • Ben van den Brink

      There are no words for things like this and no punishments are enough, look to eyes from the horse. They are speaking more than a 1000 words

      • Barb Carey

        Was thinking the same thing Ben. That horse is looking BACK towards Chapa with a “WTF” kind of terror, not down the track. Trainers are definitely complicit in this and Asmussen is at the top of that list in my book. #WinAtAllCosts

        • togahombre

          nice to know you have an economic interest in keeping his name associated with these cases especially when he’s not accused or directly involved

        • Gaye Goodwin

          He keeps employing a jockey who keeps using a buzzer… hmmmm. I guess Steve isn’t too bright if he doesn’t think Chapa might use a buzzer on his horses. Are all these Asmussen defenders really calling him a dolt? And then, I guess Blasi was coerced to ask his jockey on the video if he had, “the machina”.

          • allen

            I agree!!!!!!

        • secondlife

          Yes and his ears are pinned way back almost flat against his head, too. Never a good sign!

      • pete

        Personally, I am more creeped out by the evil smirk on Chapa’s face.

        • lawrence cook

          you saw that too ? you can almost hear him saying, ” HEE HEE HEE ‘
          show me da money !!

      • perkydols

        As well as the cunning smirk on Chapa’s face…….

      • disqus_VDMOBiuPfw

        I think your statement is extreme and scary. As wrong as it may be, a buzzer doesn’t injure the horse. To imply that the jockey should be tortured and punished and probably executed, makes you a sadist. To put an animal’s life above a human’s is wrong.

        • Ben van den Brink

          you are entitled to your opnion, but i have mine. According my family Iam just pure straight and in no way a sadist. Maybe I do have strong ethical standards.

      • disqus_VDMOBiuPfw

        You sound like a nut.

    • David Juffet

      Hall of shame

    • George T Direct

      Check your ticket before leaving the window dont mean a thing when the betting public is hijacked by this type of unpunished behavior, it undermines the very foundation of what pari-mutual is supposed to be, all for 1 and 1 for all. As Falstaff Beer used to quote were all in this together, apparently not if trainors and jockys feel they are special and not in the game with the rest of us, the racing commison should have the authority to ban jockeys and trainers for life after the third strike, our fed courts would be a delayed waste of time and money, its an in house problem, but theres no disipline in the house to throw the bums to the curb, and set a standard so that it is clear that we dont need your type and that the good of the people will always trod down the evil of the people.

  • Charles Smith

    I wonder how Ambassador Farish feels about this?

    • betterthannothing

      Too far beneath his blue blooded ivory tower to care!

  • L. Doug McPherson

    “Hey Chapa, what’s that you stuck in your mouth?”
    “Gum.”
    “Is it good?”
    “Shockingly good.”

  • Joe Weaver

    thats not his chap stick

    • Jack Frazier

      No, it was his “Chapastick.”

  • cincybulljags

    This guy should be put in jail if it’s found he did, in fact, use a buzzer. His racing career should be over, as well.

    • Quinnbt

      A picture with it in his hand, how much more evidence does there need to be.
      Three strikes your out.

      • Casey

        Probably an “artifact”.

    • hadrianmarcus

      Steal from a business, it’s embezzlement. Steal from a private person, it’s larceny. Steal from the betting public…..it’s just part of the game.

      • KY RACE FAN

        THAT MIGHT BE THE BEST STATEMENT EVER WRITTEN,I AM SURE ASMUSSEN GOES BY THOSE RULES!!!!!!!

  • Ann M. Adam

    The fault is with PETA and their methods of “investigation” (cough, cough) not whether Steve Asmussen is a clean & honest trainer. I think that can be assumed, by looking at the actions of those that work for him, that he leaves a lot to be desired. The buck should stop with him for any of the actions of those that work for him and in discovery of harmful treatment of any horses assigned to his care. Any trainer should be included in accountability for all horses he is listed on and gets paid for their handling. No one should be excused just because they were not on the property when infractions took place. If they are the trainer then they are the responsible person. I would also suggest that if an owner does not take their horses out of the care of punished trainers, then they too should be disciplined after a reasonable amount of time of non-action.

    • togahombre

      that’s great but this case doesn’t seem to be about asmussen

      • Gaye Goodwin

        Only if you hold your hands over your ears, shut your eyes and scream real loud so that you don’t have to deal with the facts.

        • togahombre

          bringing asmussen into it at this point without a shred of evidence isn’t about supporting and demanding meaningful reform, if you can’t wait for the facts your guilty of doing exactly what your describing

          • Gaye Goodwin

            “… He received a five-year suspension from New Mexico stewards for possession of an electrical device in 2007 in connection with the Asmussen-trained Right Place N Time after a fifth-place finish at Sunland Park on Feb. 17, 2007. …” Reading comprehension is a vital tool. Sorry the FACTS don’t skew your way….

          • togahombre

            what does that have to do with this case besides appease the bloodsuckers, i hope you realize asmussens name is prominent in these posts but not one mention of the trainer involved here, so you tell me who this is all about, you getting personal with me tells me your powders a little wet, try again

          • Gaye Goodwin

            Again, it is always better to actually read the article before you comment on it: “…On Saturday Chapa won races for trainers Steve Asmussen and Karl Broberg, in addition to his victory in the King Stakes for Pish….” I guess what you are really saying about Steve Asmussen is that he is too dense to figure out that this jockey uses a buzzer when he hires him.

          • togahombre

            nowhere in that article do i see him implicated in the race in question, an imagination is good for kids and conspiracy fans

          • Gaye Goodwin

            Oh, what hubris to believe that YOU would know for sure that Chapa only used a buzzer in that one race. Again, Asmussen keeps using him; AFTER the 2007 incident. You are only accusing Steve of not being too smart, OR being complicit – either one.

          • togahombre

            never once did i say i knew anything other than 1) he’s got no connection that were being told of to the horse in question 2) he’s being internet implicated in this without having any connection to the race in question 3) his name is more prominent here than the trainer in question, what you say of me saying that i knew for sure that chapa only used the joint in one race is only you putting words in my mouth, which were i’m from is a very small, petty act, i feel for you

          • Gaye Goodwin

            Guess Steve isn’t too bright, then

          • jazz mania

            Conversely, It might be considered hubristic to consider ones own opinion above question or reproach.

          • Ann M. Adam

            How wonderful! Attack the opinion of one that disagrees with you rather than enter the discussion. Sounds like there’s no valid reply to give so will attack instead. This method of redirect attention is finally being recognized by more and more of the general public as witness the last elections.

          • jazz mania

            LOL you win the internet today !

          • Ann M. Adam

            Asmussen is involved by being at the top of the chain of responsibility and power.

          • Ann M. Adam

            I deliberately brought Asmussen into it because of his frequent involvement in many questionable actions and the fact that he is at the top of the chain of responsibility for the horses involved. I feel he is given a pass because idiots feel he brings in money to the sport and they ignore involvement in animal abuse.

          • togahombre

            how about ebola, that his doing too

          • Ann M. Adam

            Your way of argument is typical of one that has nothing to say and so they try to redirect the conversation. Here we are expressing out thoughts about the situation as stated in the article and we all have that right. To ignor additional info. we know about people involved and those with power, would be to wear blinders. This is exactly what is bringing about the demise of the sport of Thoroughbred racing. Bottom line it is a matter of killing the goose that lays the golden eggs. Do you get the analogy togahombre?

          • togahombre

            what i get is that to some, chasing asmussen around over things he wasn’t involved in, and making up excuses that justify it, must be more important than dealing with the ones truly responsible,bottom line it’s a matter of a group of rabid zealots who think their saving a sport when their actually doing the dirty work for the sports true adversary; casino gaming, divide and conquer, i’m sure you don’t get that anne

        • jazz mania

          If allegations were facts what would you be guilty of?

          • Gaye Goodwin

            see above

          • jazz mania

            I guess you are not guilty of reading comprehension…

          • Gaye Goodwin

            Guess some folks cannot figure out the logic that EVERYONE already knows that Chapa uses buzzers and any trainer who rides him is either complicit or stupid.

          • jazz mania

            I understand the logic part but I also understand that my opinion is only an opinion and it is not my place to judge others based on logic, circumstantial evidence or my opinion. Kind of a “Do unto others” thing…

          • Gaye Goodwin

            Logic is what we use to form judgements. Also, to borrow from the racing world, past performances – like multiple medicine violations and continuing to use a crooked jockey do NOT present a moral profile, by ANY means.

          • jazz mania

            Judge away Saint Gaye.

          • guest

            I am the ‘other’ guest, with a small g. Judgment has nothing to do with this case. There is a clearer than clear professionally taken photograph which accidentally clearer than clear shows this rider using a machine. At the speed and momentum and finish of the race, this photographer was not looking for what was found in the photo. He was looking for the magnificent beautiful Thoroughbred finishing his race as a winner. How ironic this little extra “instrument” would show up so clearer than cleary in the photo. Too bad all the medical injustices carried out at the barn do not and cannot show up so easily.

      • KY RACE FAN

        IT SHOULD BE!!!!

  • cheapshot

    Roman Chapa is one of the best jockeys to come out in San Antonio. He is a solid athlete on both quarter horses and thoroughbreds. It really sucks that someone would photo shop a picture to discredit his wins. There is a process that needs to be completed before you start accusing people of wrong doing.

    • Elzey

      Quit it

    • secondlife

      Really? Why would the official track photographer photoshop a picture?

    • Sarah Davidson

      Jack Coady would not photoshop a picture. C’mon people! This is crazy. Photographic evidence and you still don’t believe it. What does he have to do? Plug you all in with it?

      • 4Bellwether666

        TY…

    • bangem andleavem

      lol, the only photoshopping would have been to remove it.

    • Phil

      Too Funny, he isn’t even good at hiding it.

      • Gaye Goodwin

        Why should he? He still has a career after multiple violations.

    • Horse Guy

      You are very much naive. The track is not going to photoshop a photo. It’s just not done and it’s unethical. Too much risk. By now they wish the photo hadn’t revealed what it did. This is race fixing plane and simple. I expect Texas may follow the NMRC example used on Raul Valenzuela and arrest this jockey. If I remember correctly, he’s looking at felony charges for race fixing.

    • kim gillette

      whats wrong are you his agent? hes a jerk who uses and he brags about it

    • kim gillette

      wouldn’t that be IMO someone photoshopped the pic?

  • Jttf

    Chapa would be an excellent choice to ride in the kentucky derby. No one gets disqualified in the derby. And commission doesnt care what goes on.

    • Elzey

      Most accurate comment on thread

      • Elzey

        Maybe this will help him get derby mounts like it does CALVIN !!

  • Richard C

    Is it ironic or fitting for such shenanigans to occur simultaneously with the Eclipse Awards.

    • Quinnbt

      Some irony that the 1 horse in the race is named “RULE BREAKER”.

  • Lynn D.

    Wrong doing?? guilty twice already. And why would Sam Houston put up a picture on their web page like that? They would have shredded it!!

  • togahombre

    i’ll agree with you, meaningful punishment by racing commissions or the courts is way overdue, not gonna make up for it by piling on asmussen, those ballplayers you mentioned, what about the team owners, league officers, they all profited greatly, you don’t think they knew

  • Needles

    This is why first offenders for this should be given a lifetime suspension. There is no reason for this.

  • Gary Barndollar

    Jesse Davidson got 8 years for his part in a conspiracy to fix trifecta’s particularly on a very rich one that hit on St. Valentine Day in 74(?) along with fellow rider Bennie Feliciano. I think there was another one involved as well. But I don’t remember him getting nailed for a machine

    • bangem andleavem

      ask Con Errico, probably gone by now, another fall guy

  • Dan Camoro

    Anyone who cheats in this sport, whether it be buzzers, drugs, snake venom, whatever, needs to be banned for life regardless their status, importance, or clout. Those who are caught MUST be punished!!! It’s the only way.

    • 4Bellwether666

      And lock them up!!!…Period…

  • Gaye Goodwin

    Isn’t it AMAZING that racing always gets a “hall pass”? Roger Clemens has to testify to Congress, but they could give a rat’s a** about drugs in racing and defrauding the bettors with buzzers. (Oh, not even mentioning the cruelty factor – some people just wouldn’t comprehend that!)

    • azeri1

      When they DO testify before Congress (hearings 2013, 2010, 2008, 1983) everything is just discussed and no enforceable action is ever taken.

  • Gaye Goodwin

    It is pathetically obvious that the use of buzzers is business as usual at the track. Otherwise the “authorities” in Kentucky would have found THAT part of the video disturbing.

    • togahombre

      unlike the internet, investigative body’s need proof in order to charge someone

      • Elzey

        True but if they honestly cared, they wouldn’t have to look long to find all the evidence they need

        • togahombre

          if peta had reported the abuses they claimed they witnessed when they happened i might think what they did was well mean’t, but to wait 8 months to a year after it happened, and after they put together a video that was really only a fundraising tool, i’d say the accuser didn’t honestly care, the racing commission might have been the party that did honestly care

          • Elzey

            Getting hotter!

          • Elzey

            I can guarantee you no one wants this swept away faster than the commission. They don’t care even in the least.

          • Gaye Goodwin

            I couldn’t agree more.

  • youcantmakeitup

    This guy is the ultimate pinhead.That is a machine, no doubt. The two prongs are the obvious giveaway. The publicity for this ” sport” just keeps getting ” better”.

  • Kirk

    Yes you think something should/would be done BUT i as am 55 and it ain’t gonna happen

  • Buzzer

    Chapa will have no employment problem as he will be welcomed to the Jockeys Guild with open arms. One former Guild employee was banned from NY for involvement with an electrical device, another current employee was banned for two years for use of an electrical device. The current employee is chairman of the Racing Equipment & Safety Committee which was started through the Welfare and Safety for the Racehorse Summit. He certainly knows “racing” equipment well, kinda like making Michael Vick in charge of dog welfare in the Humane Society.

    • Gaye Goodwin

      Remember the recent case in, where was it, Indiana, where they found 5 or 6 devices in the jockey’s car, but he got to stay on because they were in his car (his personal property – as if he didn’t intend to use them)?

      • jonrand

        It was Prairie Meadows (Iowa) and unfortunately he got off because he was not caught on racetrack property.

  • Roy Bland

    The only way this will stop is to bann the horse, rider,trainer and owner for life try that i bet it will cease !

    • 4Bellwether666

      Lock their @$$E$ up and see if it doesn’t slow em down…

    • azeri1

      It’s certainly not the horse’s fault- but the trainer should be made to forfeit his right to train horses at that racecourse permanently if the investigation turns out to result in the presence of a machine.

  • Elliott ness

    Those two innocent fellows steve a and scott b. So wrongly accused, false accusations. Bull S. It all stinks to the high heavens. How in the heck are the state local federal authorities not on top of this horrible behavior? All across this country, a kid can steal a snickers bar and end up in juvenile detention, 75 cent snickers vs. a 50,000 race, where are the badges and the men that wear them? So now it is not only the vials upon vials of synthetic medication pumped into the veins of these noble creatures, now they must deal with volts and amps. Sad, horrible, state of affairs in horse racing. Poor steve, scott, and Roman, let’s all say a prayer, that their good names will be cleared and they will all stand on the podium at the HOF and reflect on the electrifying times at all the great race tracks across America. Energizer Bunny

    • hadrianmarcus

      Common, they’re just misunderstood. Papa Asmussen didn’t know how all those broodmares ended up in a kill lot in Texas either.

      • guest

        I guess you didn’t know Papa Asmussen’s papa.

        • Gaye Goodwin

          It’s called irony.

  • Hamish

    Buzzers are illegal everywhere, but jockeys still use them. Why not random searches of all jocks, pony persons, gate crew, trainers, clerk of scale, anyone the rider comes into contact with between the time they get dressed and the starting gate opens? Then if a device is found, lifetime ban.

    • KY RACE FAN

      SOUNDS LIKE THE PERFECT WAY TO CONTROL THE SITUATION,SO THEY PROBABLY WILL NOT DO IT!!!!!!!

    • 4Bellwether666

      And lock the pimps up…

    • L. Doug McPherson

      Random searches are how pretty much all tracks “control” them.

      • Hamish

        O.K., if random searches are currently being used for “control” purposes, they aren’t working, so search them daily. Then, when a device is found, turn it on and stick it where the sun don’t shine! Should be an effective deterrent.

  • Peyton

    I am reading a lot of jabs at SA on here but very little negative about Pish. Did I miss something in the article? As far as the rants about ‘when will the Feds step in and dish out some jail time?’ it is obvious the Feds are not going to get involved in racing. They are leaving it to die in its own slime. Fitting name for Quiet Acceleration. Trainer and jock probably had a good laugh over that.

    • Lynn D.

      Danny Pish is just as guilty. He and Chapa go way back. It would not shock me that Chapa carried in every race he rode Friday and Saturday.

  • Armand

    Just remember that the whip hurts even after the race is finished. The joint is a momentary jolt. make it legal and quit the bickering.

    • guest

      The ‘machine’ is no temporary jolt. I guess you don’t know much about horses, say, maybe vs. automobiles. The horse is created by a “fight or flight” survival method. When they are given an electrical shock going full bore in a race, especially if they are sweating, it is MORE than a jolt. They have no choice but to ‘try’ to run faster to get away from it. And of course if the horse is on drugs he/she will run harder much to their own demise. The ‘mastered’ machine riders know exactly when to prod the horse so he/she doesn’t bolt or clip heels or something else disastrous. They prod the horse at exactly the right time in pre-stride so the horse digs in harder, thus moving forward faster. There is no bickering. Animal cruelty at its peak. I would like to see you running as fast as you can, sweating and breathing hard, and get tazered if you tried to slow down.

      • Gaye Goodwin

        What an idiot! “make it legal”? Oh, sure, along with cock fights and dog fights, and shoot, let’s just start building bull rings, so we can get our jollies watching MORE animals die. Sicko!

    • azeri1

      I can’t even believe you can write this! Electrical impulses are terrifying to horses. Not only do they induce great fear, but they disrupt normal nerve impulses and messaging. Take a biology/zoology/neurology class!

    • 4Bellwether666

      DA….

  • april_mc

    Is anyone investigating the other races he ran the same night? He won a race for Asmussen, Pish and Broberg. Does anyone really think they dont know what was going on?

    Perhaps if purses were held, just like for a positive drug violation, things would change.

  • Tidewaterhorse

    He should be banned for life.

    • 4Bellwether666

      And locked up…

  • Sharon

    “stimulate” the horse?? Oh please! Surely you can be more direct than that! It is an electrical shock that hurts and scares the horse to make him run faster in hopes of getting away from it. Plain and simple. Pain, no stimulation.

    • betterthannothing

      Just like racing call the whipping of horses “urging” and severe whipping, often useless and damaging “strong urging”, its often abused and lethal mostly secret use of drugs “therapeutic medication”, slaughter “processing”. Now the CHRB wants to replace the word “whip” with “riding crop” as if it will be less painful to CA horses. The lame racing and horse industry are trying to fool the public while horses continue to be abused and killed but they can’t. Why not do the right thing to begin with?

  • Please notice the different grip he had aboard our winner that night #exonerated

    • Charles Smith

      I have a great deal of respect for you as one of America’s winningest trainers, but this looks horrible for the sport.

    • RayPaulick

      FYI, I have asked the track photographer for high resolution images of all five of Roman Chapa’s wins and was referred to track management, which has yet to respond to the request.

      • [email protected]

        The only reason THIS photo showed anything was because it was TAKEN FROM THE INFIELD and that was probably only done because it was a Stakes race. That’s why Dinaling has it in his LEFT hand – almost all photos are taken from the RIGHT side. Unless they took any of the other photos from the left side you won’t find anything of note. ;-)

        • may smacker

          They take photos from infield side all the time

  • OopsyDaisy3

    He should have been replaced as jockey for 5 horses. Today. And tomorrow and tomorrow.
    In my state of Texas, no thanks to electrical devices. What an insult that he has been found guilty of it before and was not checked a little closer before he mounted any horses. Maybe it will get down to jocks stepping thru a metal detector like i have to go thru in my local courthouse or what we all have to step thru in airports. He needs to be banned. And yep, there is the Asmussen name again. But nothing intimidating found in the latest investigation just released. Linda in Texas

    • guest

      Linda, don’t know your background, but metal detectors do no good. Too many other ways. Pony horse riders, gate crew, under horses blinkers, valets–carefully placed under tack and saddle pads/towels, etc. Most jocks are smart enough NOT to come out of the room carrying machines.

      • OopsyDaisy3

        Thank you guest – my background is not buzzers, etc. However, i do know metal detectors can detect metal. Everytime i walk thru my courthouse detector, something sets it off. Also the metal in my shoes once set a detector off at DFW. So i am presuming your post ‘insinuates’ he had help! And that is even more interesting and disturbing. Maybe i don’t want to know anything else. I think that is all i need to know. So i will keep quiet and hope the pros do their jobs investigating and not take a year. I hope. Linda in Texas

        • guest

          You don’t want to know anything else. I don’t need to expound. Thank you for being one of the “good people.”

  • Please visit twitter account reign_tb to see that Roman was not carrying a machine aboard our 3yo stakes winner that night. #exonerated

    • Buzz Pro

      Karl not in that picture you act like he couldn’t have switched hands or already tucked it in his shorts. Show me the HD video of the race and i will point out to you when and where the buzzer is/was or was not. # ignorance is bliss

    • Steven Merrill

      You use the guy. You know from past suspensions that he’s a battery rider. Do you tell him in the paddock, “Hey, Roman, no machine, OK”? Have you ever told him flat-out, “Don’t ever use a battery on one of my horses, because if you do I’m going straight to the stewards.”? Or do you look the other way?

  • Keyne

    I had $100 to win on the Broberg horse at 8-1 who ran 2nd in that race.Reason 1,622 why our game will never survive.Letting a confirmed cheater back on the track is akin to loaning a heroin addict money for the 20th time,or going back to a man who habitually commits domestic violence.
    Ban him for life!!!!!

    • disappointed

      Did you bet on the broberg horse that won with Roman aboard??

  • hairdr90277

    I think Ill ride Roman and Asmussen with a buzzer.I bet all shenanigans stop then. I have a special saddle for both.

    • guest

      May I photograph that ride?

  • Are they sure it is not a Q Ring?

    • G. Rarick

      Forgive my ignorance, Barry, but what’s a Q Ring?

      • RayPaulick

        http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/sports/horses/triple/derby/2003-05-10-santos-hand_x.htm

        A writer for the Miami Herald mistakenly thought he saw something suspicious in a photograph of the 2003 Kentucky Derby, won by Jose Santos aboard Funny CIde, and published a story that received widespread attention until the suggestion that he was carrying something was disproven several days later. The writer misunderstood several things Mr. Santos said, including Q-Ray (a bracelet that was supposed to be good for arthritis) for “cue ring” (which has no meaning whatsoever) and arthritis (mixing it up with outrider).

        Mr. Santos sued the newspaper and settled some years later.

        • Dee R. Eff

          I remember that story very well. The writer was irresponsible, seeing something that wasn’t there, blind siding Santos with a phone interview he was unprepared for, and misconstruing anything he said. Glad Santos got some money out of them. And it tells you something about people who believe anything they read in the press. Many were screaming for his head before they realized it was nothing.

        • G. Rarick

          Wow. I missed that story entirely. Thanks, Ray.

    • Gaye Goodwin

      Wouldn’t that be on his wrist and not tucked into his hand? Why carry something other than the reins and the whip in a race?

    • kim gillette

      he uses them all the time in QH racing

  • Friendly Bob

    Maybe the punishment should be that the horse gets to “TAZER” the jockey.

  • johnnymac27

    Anybody find a machine? No. Anybody try to determine what the yellow object in his hand is? No. Maybe we we should wait on destroying a professional athlete’s career until some kind of real proof supports the allegation?

    • guest

      Poor jock. Find a machine? You have got to be kidding me, right? Machines are cheap to make. They drop them off after the race into the dirt, IF they don’t get handed off. The harrows bury them; no harm, no foul, no proof. But this photo, well, send me some of what you are smoking.

      • Quinnbt

        One or more potential harmful effects, a horse can step on it while galloping or running and badly bruise a hoof.

        • guest

          VERY astute and true! Good call; I didn’t name all consequences. The odds of that are much higher than a bandage pin stuck in a hoof.

    • 4Bellwether666

      This will be his third bust and he all ready has ruined his own damn career…The real problem here is the fools that let him back on a race track…

    • kim gillette

      john mac , he bragged to me! when his horse knocked over mine out of the gates, he said told you my machine would beat your horse…is this another jock with a machine you are not getting off? this is race fixing, civil court time for him

      • betterthannothing

        Did you call the FBI?

        • kim gillette

          I did tell the stewards, but we are talking NM

  • drjude518

    I know a rider who about 15 years ago got a 10 year suspension for using a machine. How is this guy getting 19 months so that he can come back and do it AGAIN? Do they have any rules in Texas or is it still the Wild West? Until all the States have the same rules and the same discipline and are on board with all Jockey Clubs across the continent including Canada; we are just a bunch of Rubes all of us. Can’t call it a Sporting Event cause it ain’t so Sporting.

  • Jim

    Will be tough to get out of this Maybe he will name trainers

    • KY RACE FAN

      Got a feeling ASMUSSENS name will be the first name!!!!!!

  • guest

    Great website. Another creep trolling for business. There is now whip control. A whip throwing a horse off balance? As compared to a machine?? Surely you jest, or have never rode with either.

    • guest

      P.S. Your description in the word of “pinheads” speaks volumes. Good and bad in every walk of life. Would like to know your ‘chosen walk’ in this life to be so disrespectful of another very difficult and dangerous profession, that is, if you care to share, which I doubt. Either way, I would question your honesty.

      • may smacker

        Jockeys are called pinheads!!!

        • guest

          Only by pompous, righteous individuals such as yourself. “Pinheads” is a very derogatory statement for a very large group of talented individuals who schmuck it out everyday just to try and make a living. No doubt there are those who try to get the edge on the racetrack, inclusive of trainers, owners, vets, jocks, valets, grooms, starting gate crew, etc. etc. 99.9% of the time it involves $$$—the tradeoff for the risk. This particular rider will have a hard time proving he WAS NOT doing what he WAS doing. Apparently m. smacker, you feel superior in some intelligent way to jockeys. You have never made any decisions that questioned your judgment or i.q. or morality? Why is that? I would like to know your secrets to success.

          • yes master

            OH yeah they are called pinheads for a reason. Just like tres abogados stupidos can certainly apply to that profession. But here, he gives new meaning to arrogant Pinhead.

          • guest

            I feel sorry for you. As if he wasn’t arrogant it would be ok? I question your standards. I would really, really like to know the background of forming your opinions. Obviously, it’s not from experience. If you want to argue that, bring it on. Only other thing I can think of is you watch too much horseracing television. That’s a mighty broad brush you paint with, sir/madam.

          • yes master

            I do appreciate your sorrow… but mine comes from experience, front side and back side…. and that usage of the name pinhead, in particular, comes from chasing one down after a race for his “ride.” Luckily for all, he beat me to the jocks room, sans saddle and weigh in.

          • Tres Abagados Stupidos

            Easy now!!! My name is an homage to three guys that work for the Stronach Group. Nothing more…..nothing less.

          • guest

            Pay your homage to the three guys and buy them a drink. We certainly don’t need your “homage” here. Your post speaks profoundly of your loyalties, your name, and of course, your “homage,” times 3.

          • yes master

            I got pulled up…And I know of who you speak. Guess I was referring to the lambasting of the profession. Which at times is rightly deserved…. But I do like the moniker

  • K Belll Dascher

    With this many strikes against him, he needs to be removed from the game. Period!

  • 4Bellwether666

    Jail Time/Life Time Ban on this pimp and others like him…Will the people that bet on these races get their money back???…

    • Bill O’Gorman

      They should do – as long as anyone who has backed a winner he rode gives their winnings back!

    • Jocke Muth

      You could ask Chapa, the trainer & the owners to reimburse you. Track did nothing wrong, and did pay out on winning tickets.

  • Bein

    Excellent point, Charles. Why is it left to local stewards to deal with machine use? They can produce a clear advantage and the betting public is being defrauded.

  • Maggiethewonerdog

    That’s not a machine. That’s a candy bar. Starter sprung the latch before Chapa could eat it.

    • 2hoursfromsaratoga

      Just charging the phone!

  • Michael Castellano

    Makes one wonder just how many jocks are using them. It may be why some tracks are banning long lenses on cameras of fans as with one it’s too easy to spot them, and too embarrassing to the tracks when found. This guy will get away with this no doubt, the track will list it as “not proven.”

  • Mimi H

    I kinda wonder if the sudden bolt to the outside of the sudden bolt and jump over the inside rail wasn’t caused by one of these zappers. I had an AQHA mare, who had been raced, who would react very badly to anything that made a similar noise – a shorted electric fence, a cigarette lighter, or the taking of a picture with one of those SLR 35mm cameras. I got her so she wasn’t dangerous, but she never got over it completely.

  • Mimi H

    I kinda wonder if the sudden bolt to the outside of the sudden bolt and jump over the inside rail wasn’t caused by one of these zappers. I had an AQHA mare, who had been raced, who would react very badly to anything that made a similar noise – a shorted electric fence, a cigarette lighter, or the taking of a picture with one of those SLR 35mm cameras. I got her so she wasn’t dangerous, but she never got over it completely.

  • former PR reader

    Great story and sure to generate a swell of comments from the peppermint candy crowd. Even better for Paulick, it takes the pressure off of him to report about the progress on the top trainers pledge to do away with Lasix. How’s that going? Come on Ben, we miss your authoritative insight on Euro racing!

  • Andy

    slow learner isn’t he?
    get rid of him for good, make an example of him

  • 2hoursfromsaratoga

    I wonder on which day of the 2015 Global Symposium on Racing and Gambling this subject will be discoursed.

  • Charles Smith

    Ray, I just saw the DRF version of this story, the Sam Houston steward stated that this matter was brought to his attention by The Paulick Report. Congratulations to you and your staff for continued quality journalism.

    • RayPaulick

      Thank you. However, that was the Bloodhorse.com story, not DRF, that credited Paulick Report.

      • Charles Smith

        Right, you are.

  • Boogie40

    #FreeRoman

  • Larry Kelly

    I defend the integrity Of our sport..But this is cheating. Hard to defend here…

  • Donny Toombs

    If any of you actually knew anything about racing then your statements would be worth reading. But you don’t so they’re not.

    • azeri1

      Yowza the world’s greatest authority on everything has just pronounced everyone on this site as ignorant. Let’s see that includes, trainers, owners, equestrians, economists, oh, and an award winning turf journalist! It’s the Sport of Kings – not the Divine Right of Kings! Donny-I’m in awe that your bloodlines make one so superior.

  • Boogie40

    #FreeRoman

  • Frank Speaking

    So let me get this right. You get caught with a buzzer (joint) and you get a second chance five years later, get caught a second time and get another chance to do it a third time? There should never have been a second chance let alone a third. The fault here lies totally upon management.

    • KY RACE FAN

      HOW TRUE THAT IS!!!!!

    • Barbara Bowen

      What management? (That’s the problem.)

  • Frank Speaking

    Make no mistake I am not a fan of Richard Dutrow but this guy gets caught three times with a electrical device in less than ten years and Dutrow gets ten years? Damn shame.

    • 4Bellwether666

      Ten years was way over the top for Dutrow…This guy should have been locked up…

  • lioneltrain

    yea thats a gator allright—interesting how many names there are for those things—gator buzzer– joint—battery—any others?

    • Tres Abagados Stupidos

      “Packin Fire”

    • 4Bellwether666

      “Hop Along Button”…

  • Richard C

    I gather he can dig up some PR firm that will categorically claim a good-luck charm from a terminally ill fan was in his hand.

  • Quilla

    “Asmussen? Steve Asmussen? Nope. Never heard of him.” KHRC spokesperson.

  • Bill O’Gorman

    To lighten the mood: perhaps someone should do an advertising deal with the electric car world here – Quiet Acceleration.

    • Phil

      Word has it Elon Musk will be employing Chapa to help improve horse power in the new generation Teslas.

  • Ivan John Skibinsky

    I think a lifetime ban from Horseracing is a suitable punishment.

  • Janice L. Blake

    When jockeys get used to using a machine, they feel like they can’t ride without one. They get addicted to it. It’s a torturous device, and the jockeys who use it should be subjected to the same treatment. (Of course, no one ever admits to using one, or knowing someone who does. But many jockeys are born with one in each hand.)

    I would love to see a machine used on those jockeys with someone behind them using it when they slowed down. Between races would be a good time, like the Colosseum: “…and here he comes down the stretch! Oh, he fell, but boy, did he get up quick! Looks like he’s got electricity in his pants! What acceleration! Oh, he tripped and fell again, but he’s up and here he comes like lightening…!” Poor horses.

  • karma pays back

    wow imagine getting caught for the third time let’s put another black mark on the horse racing business. This game has truly changed over the years to much corruption,drugs and dishonest people all living for the moment. The game has gotten to the point where it’s let me get what I can now. If anyone really wants to look a look at corruption and dishonesty just turn your eyes to what’s happening in New Mexico. As far as racing it’s the land of disenchantment for the people who try to survive the little guys who are the backbone of the sport. It still amazes me how people think they’ll never get caught doing something wrong. But eventually it all evens out in the long run!

  • stretch move

    Let’s not forget the original buzzer carrier at SHRP… Billy Patin… He & Dallas Keen with Valhol in the Arkansas Derby 2002 edition tried to take the show on the road but forgot about all the television cameras everywhere.

  • What’s the buzz

    To all you young riders, please look at this photo and study it. It was a grave misfortune that Mr. Chapa was caught by a well timed photo. But if you have to use it, definitely that’s the correct way to hold it. Does anyone have any idea how hard it is to multi-task while having to control a race horse. True handicappers know Witch jocks at witch tracks have lightning up there sleeve. You all act like you’ve been shocked by a buzzer when someone gets caught. It is my opinion that it should be legalized and declared on a program witch horses use it and witch ones don’t. Just like lasix. I’ll send a thousand dollar check to the first person who can verify a horse that has been killed by a buzzer. Use the buzzer but take away the whip……. hell that adds another element to gambling…….. if a horse wins to many races, then he had to lower the voltage. And if a rider is caught using more voltage than allowed he gets penalties…….. No buzzer in stake races, and u have to declare a horse that’s getting the buzzer for the first time. Also you have to declare what side it will be on. I also think jockeys should be wearing a communication device like in Nascar.

    • guest

      I really, really have to bite my tongue here. It is a well known scientific fact that certain living organisms simply take up space on the planet. You are verification of that. That is NOT the only correct way to hold it. Same sentence, no one HAS to use it. Multi-task? Obviously you don’t have that capability. You completely insult true handicappers. I’m not going to waste much more time on your naivety. Horses in a race are not “buzzed” for the first time for obvious reasons, which seem to fail your brain pattern. They are “tested” in the morning first to see if they respond without killing some or many. It is “CHEATING” plain and simple. Oh, buzz, go light a candle for yourself.

      • betterthannothing

        Well said, but more than that “witch” critter deserves even if he/she is pulling everyone’s leg.

    • azeri1

      This is a truly demented proposition. Furthermore, for your grammatical edification, which witch is which?

  • What’s the buzz

    You all are a bunch of crybabys!!!!!
    I have never heard of a buzzer killing a horse!!!! Name me 1 verified incident and I’ll send u a thousand dollars. Every track has a couple of shock jocks…….. Quit being so naive, like an uneducated teen……. This is racing. All over the country. Not in one sole state in particular.

    • kim gillette

      bet you a dollar hes done! ask raul velenzuela, who didtn show for his hearing in NM

    • azeri1

      So you condone dishonesty and animal cruelty?

  • What’s the buzz

    Rick Paulick is himself a cheater. …. In a Jan. 9th 2010 Horse Racing Business article he admitted to hanging out at illegal bookie joints disguised as messenger services. Really Rick? You hung out at illegal bookie joints and bragged about it in an article? Do you know how much money illegal bookie joints take away from the handle of local tracks, and local economy? And you brag about it? For shame……. that is calling the kettle black for sure…… Paulick is a cheater!!!!

  • hype22redux

    wow 232 comments…..the fact of the matter racing doesn’t care,if it cared they would put into place a system to either deter or eliminate such actions ….people around racing know when a horse freaks and does something out of the ordinary….in the racing world they just get a pass,why because they get a monetary gain…..racing is an inbred sport….brothers sisters,aunts uncles cousins generationally participate ……..so even if they know,they remain silent it is their livelihood………a pretty good lady trainer got out briefly warning about the lack honor …because she knew nothing would change…..232 comments obviously no one cares ..we all care

  • sandy

    why do trainers who get bad test get stays but if caught with buzzer no appeal no stay just gone for five years

  • Margie

    Are we going to have to start doing TSA pat downs and scans before letting them near the horses? :(Let the punishment fit the crime. Zap Chapa! :)

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