Joe Rocco, Jr. is a third generation horseman; his father is also a jockey and his grandfather trained horses. Rocco started out working on his grandfather's farm during school vacations as a child. When his family moved to Maryland he took a job working for trainer Sam Cronk. Though he had a variety of other jobs growing up, becoming a jockey was always his dream.
Rocco rode his first race in 1999 at Tampa Bay Downs, but he moved his tack often and didn't establish himself at any one track. He won his first stakes race as a jockey on Allen Jerkens' House Party in 2003. His first graded stakes came aboard Tiz Miz Sue in the 2012 Azeri (Grade 3), and he won his first Grade 1 when Tiz Miz Sue crossed the wire first in the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps Handicap at Belmont in 2013.
To date Rocco Jr. has ridden the earners of over $33 million and won over 1,100 races.