06/10/2012 1:01PM

Former jockey Perrodin dies from cancer at 55

Lou Hodges Jr.
E.J. Perrodin, shown aboard The Beter Man after winning the Battler Star Handicap at Fair Grounds in 2005, won 3,083 races during his 39-year riding career.

E.J. Perrodin, a jockey for 39 years who was diagnosed with lung cancer shortly after retiring in February, died on Sunday morning, confirmed his brother-in-law, trainer Patrick Mouton. Perrodin was 55.

Mouton said services will be held Wednesday at Hill Crest Memorial Funeral Home in Haughton, La. He said there would be a visitation from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., with a funeral service to immediately follow. Perrodin died at his home in Haughton. 

Perrodin retired during the Fair Grounds meet, and a short period of time later learned he had a significant tumor in his lung. The cancer was advanced, and it also spread to his brain. He battled courageously, and in May even made an appearance at Louisiana Downs, located minutes from his home in Haughton, La., to receive a lifetime achievement award. 

Perrodin was a native of Rayne, La. He began race-riding at the age of 17, in Lafayette, La., and would go on to win 3,083 races during his career, for more than $41 million in mount earnings. Perrodin won more than  200 stakes races, some of them with such horses as Candid Glen, Sarah Lane’s Oates, Waupaca, Clever Song, Police Inspector, and Composure. Perrodin also won six races on a Fair Grounds card on Nov. 18, 1979.

Perrodin, known in particular as a talented turf rider, made a significant career comeback in August 2008, at the age of 51. Just nine months earlier he had suffered a severely fractured pelvis, six broken ribs, a punctured lung,  and a lacerated spleen when a horse flipped and fell on him in the post parade of a race at Fair Grounds in November 2007. Perrodin spent a month in the intensive care unit at Tulane Medical Center in New Orleans, and would come back to reach the 3,000 win milestone in December 2008 at Fair Grounds.

Perrodin is survived by his wife, Lisa, and his young son, Devin.