Texas Jockey Roman Chapa's Use of a Buzzer Unveils a Shocking Practice in Racing


None of this would have happened if the Sam Houston Race Park track photographer hadn't been shooting from the inside rail. The $50,000 Richard King Turf Stakes on January 17 was the ninth race of the night, the eighth that jockey Roman Chapa had competed in since the start of the meet at Sam Houston Race Park the night before. Quiet Acceleration, a 6-year-old thoroughbred owned by Texas trainer Danny Pish, was running toward the middle of the pack, boxed in by the rest of the field. The dark bay gelding hovered in fifth place as the riders headed down the backstretch, surrounded by pounding hooves and the cries of jockeys urging on their horses.

A fight for the lead between the top two contenders, Special U F O and favorite Magna Breeze, grabbed the crowd's attention. Chapa, a top Texas jockey with more than 20 years of riding experience, maneuvered Quiet Acceleration so the horse was on the outside as they headed for the finish line. Another horse, Fly the Red Eye, gave a late charge, taking the lead.

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Unfair Park