Rocco's victories at Pimlico start healing wounds of layoff

April 11, 1994|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,Sun Staff Writer

Last Friday, Joe Rocco finished first with Punch A Dragon in a $4,000 claiming race at Pimlico.

Normally, this would cause little excitement, but for the 14-year jockey "it was like winning a Breeders' Cup race. I never felt so good about anything."

It had been a long time between trips to the winner's circle for Rocco, whose lifeblood had been threatened for nearly six months.

"Five months and 28 days exactly," said Rocco, the victim of several spills last fall that forced him to quit riding and put his career in jeopardy because of a liver problem. He returned to action on March 26.

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