05/23/2008 12:00AM

Perrodin healing slowly but steadily

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BOSSIER CITY, La. - Something seemed to be missing from last weekend's opening day at Louisiana Downs. That something was the veteran rider E. J. Perrodin.

"I can't remember ever missing an opening at Lad," Perrodin said from his in-laws' home in Diamondhead, Miss., where he was visiting with his young son and wife Lisa. "Maybe a little time here and there, but never an opening."

Perrodin, 50, continues to recover from serious injuries sustained on the second day of the Fair Grounds meeting last November while warming up a maiden named No No Bad Kitty prior to the final race of the day.

"She started to back up and she lost her balance and fell," said Perrodin's agent Tony Martin. "They call it setting back. She just kind of sat down, and then rolled back on top of him, then hurt him again when she went to stand up."

Perrodin suffered fractured ribs, a lacerated liver, and a shattered pelvis, which required surgery. The winner of 2,902 races, Perrodin had set a goal of returning to riding by the opening of the Louisiana Downs meeting, but he admits that thinking was a bit too optimistic.

"I don't heal as quickly as I used to," said Perrodin, a native of Rayne, La. "I'm taking it slow and steady. Like the doctor said, I don't need to get in a hurry and undo all the progress that I've made so far. I want to take my time and make sure I'm 100 percent. I let my body tell me how much I can do each day, and each day is a little better. I actually did some of the driving on our trip down here to Mississippi, which is definite progress."

Perrodin, who won his first recognized race at the old Jefferson Downs near New Orleans in 1976, went on to say that while he misses racing, it is not something that occupies his every waking moment.

"I have been enjoying some quality time with my wife and son," he said. "When it is time, I will start to get on a few horses in the mornings and see how it goes. Right now I'm looking at the middle part of the summer for a return. Just taking it one day at a time."

Stoney Gold tops feature

Sunday's $30,000 second-level allowance feature for Louisiana-breds brings together two lightly raced 4-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles.

Stoney Gold comes off a popular entry-level allowance win at Evangeline Downs after just missing in a similar spot in his season debut. Trained by Pam Simpson, Stoney Gold returns to the oval that produced his maiden score last September.

Talkwithmebuddy D has won 2 of his 4 starts.