12/07/2007 1:00AM

Barnett begins with two allowance runners

EmailNEW ORLEANS - Bobby Barnett has arrived at his winter headquarters and will start his first two horses of the Fair Grounds meet Sunday.

"We've been coming down here for 20 years," said Barnett. "It's always good to be back at the Fair Grounds."

He has entered horses in the eighth and ninth races Sunday. In the eighth, a first-level allowance, he has Firerock Base.

"He's coming off a layoff, and should be very tough coming back,' said Barnett.

In the feature race, a second-level allowance on turf, he sends out Malameeze.

"He should be competitive," said Barnett. "He ran second at Churchill, and second in his last race here at the Fair Grounds," last March.

Barnett has 18 stalls here, and his barn holds several 2-year-olds that he feels have good potential.

Cactus Tom ran in a maiden special weight Nov. 24, the last day of Churchill's fall meet, finishing fifth.

"He got beat just one length," Barnett said. "He'll be pointed for a race at the first of the year."

The other 2-year-old Barnett noted is Jazz in the Park, who stumbled and lost his rider in his debut, but kept running without the rider aboard.

"I saw Kent Desormeaux that night, out at a restaurant, and he said, 'Put me on him, he looks like a good colt.' "

Barnett has Jazz in the Park pointed toward a maiden race just after the first of the year.

French Beret first Sam-Son runner

The Sam-Son Farm outfit is also sending out its first horse of the meet on Sunday. Hugh Chatman, assistant to trainer Mark Frostad, has been holding down the fort while Frostad finishes up the Woodbine meet, which concludes Sunday.

Sam-Son has entered French Beret in the allowance feature at 7o1/2 furlongs on grass.

"He's been a useful horse," said Frostad. "Seven and a half furlongs may be a little short for him, but he'll appreciate the two turns."

Frostad is shipping more Woodbine horses south for the winter. They are expected to arrive Tuesday.

Frostad was scheduled to arrive in New Orleans on Saturday evening, after watching Etruscan run in an optional claiming race at Woodbine.

Among the horses to be stabled at Fair Grounds is the Canadian champion 2-year-old filly of 2006, Catch the Thrill.

"This long stretch will do her good," said Chatman. "She comes from back off the pace, either on the turf or the dirt."

Also coming in Tuesday is Written in Stone, narrowly beaten in a Woodbine allowance on Thursday, and the 2-year-old A.P. Indy colt Catch the Luck.

Frostad will have 15 stalls at Fair Grounds, and ship horses back and forth to his farm in Ocala, Fla.

Perrodin slowly recuperating

Jockey E.J. Perrodin continues to make strides in his recovery from injuries he sustained on Nov. 23. Perrodin, 50, was injured during pre-race warm-ups when his mount, No No Bad Kitty, reared back and fell on him.

He had surgery on Nov. 27, during which doctors repaired cracks in his pelvis, and he was unable to speak for several days after the surgery.

"He's talking," said his agent, Tony Martin. "His mind is clear. They're waiting for a private room to open up and transfer him out of ICU. He's in okay spirits."