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Jockey Joe Rocco Sr, tries to revive career

Joe Rocco Sr. knows his way around every racetrack up and down the East Coast, but he is having a tough time finding the winner's circle at Suffolk Downs.

A journeyman jockey, Rocco has been on the racetrack since the mid-1970s, when his father pulled him out of school at 16 to work in Allen Jerkens's barn at Belmont Park. Now 51 and fighting back from the latest in a laundry list of injuries, he has moved his tack to the sole surviving Thoroughbred track in New England, resolved to resurrect his career, even if it means riding cheap claimers in short fields for bottom-of-the-barrel purses.


"It's been slow. I've only won two races," he said. "I'm not riding the quality of horses that I thought I would. I was hoping to get in with the top outfits, but it's hard working your way in."

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