02/07/2012 3:57PM

Fair Grounds: Perrodin retires from riding at age 55

Hodges Photography/Lou Hodges Jr.
E.J. Perrodin won 3,083 races during his long career.

Jockey E.J. Perrodin has hung up his saddle after more than 3,000 wins in more than 35 years of riding, primarily in his home state of Louisiana. The 55-year-old jockey informed Fair Grounds officials on Friday that he was retiring when he declined to accept his only mount of the day, aboard The Reverend James for his brother-in-law, trainer Patrick Mouton.

Elvis Joseph Perrodin, known as E.J. to racing fans and as Tee-Joe to fellow horsemen, began his career in 1975. One of the highlights of his career was a six-win day at Fair Grounds on Nov. 18, 1979, while the richest win of his career came aboard 84-1 shot Candid Glen in the $650,000 Explosive Bid Handicap in 2003 at Fair Grounds. He finishes his career with 3,083 wins, having notched his 3,000th victory in December 2008 at Fair Grounds.

Perrodin sustained a number of serious injuries during his career, with the last major injury being to his pelvis in November 2007 in a pre-race incident at Fair Grounds.

Perrodin’s opportunities had dwindled in recent months. He was 0 for 36 at the Fair Grounds meet and winless in seven mounts this year, and that contributed to his decision to retire, he said.

“Things didn’t happen the way I hoped, really, this meet,” he said.

Asked how he felt about retiring, Perrodin said: “I have mixed feelings. I’ve got a weird feeling right now.”

Perrodin said he was considering becoming a jockey agent this summer at Louisiana Downs.

◗ A pair of allowances anchors a decent nine-race Thursday card. Race 7 pits seven 3-year-olds, including a Bret Calhoun entry, going a mile and 70 yards in trying to make it through their first allowance condition, while Race 8 drew an oversubscribed field of older Louisiana-breds clashing at a mile on the turf. First post Thursday is 12:40 p.m. Central, with the co-features going at 3:43 and 4:15.

◗ Another twilight racing program is on tap at Fair Grounds with a 10-race card starting Friday at 5 p.m. Central. This will be the third of six programs being promoted under the “Starlight Racing” banner, with a “Carnival” theme set for this Friday. Subsequent Starlight dates are Feb. 24, March 16, and March 30.

◗ Fair Grounds will break a recent stakes drought Saturday when it offers the $75,000 Tiffany Lass Stakes for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles on the main track. Joyful Victory and Ravi’s Song are the top names in what is expected to be an outstanding field. The last stakes date was Jan. 21.

◗ Jockey Robby Albarado is scheduled to resume riding Friday after suffering a bruised foot Saturday night in a gate mishap at Delta Downs and taking off all Sunday mounts. Albarado, a seven-time Fair Grounds riding champion, is not named on any mounts Thursday.

– additional reporting by Marcus Hersh