Chapa to Serve Five-Year Suspension

Jockey Roman Chapa recently began serving a five-year suspension issued by the New Mexico Racing Commission after he was found to be in possession of an electrical device. Chapa had appealed the ruling to district court, which on Sept. 11 upheld the commission, according to the organization's manager, Rosemary Leeder.

The New Mexico Racing Commission prohibits jockeys from holding such devices, which might make a horse run faster. A jockey's possession of the small battery-powered electrical stimulation device, also known as a "battery," "joint," or "machine," would result in disqualification of his horse.

Chapa was found to possess the electrical device following the sixth race at Sunland Park Feb. 17, in which he finished fifth aboard Right Place N Time. The stewards suspended him for the remainder of the Sunland meet and fined him $1,500. The case was then referred to the commission, which in turn issued the suspension.

Chapa had been riding on a stay granted by the district court. His last mount was Sept. 13 at Retama Park near San Antonio. He may apply for reinstatement in 2012, said Leeder.

Chapa, 36, has long been a leading rider in the Southwest. According to the Daily Racing Form, he is a title winner at Retama, Zia Park, and the 2005-2006 Fair Grounds meet run at Louisiana Downs. According to Equineline statistics, Chapa has won 1,463 races and has earned more than $21.5 million since launching his career in the early 1990s.

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