11/02/2006 12:00AM

Fires knocked unconscious in spill

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Hall of Fame jockey Earlie Fires appeared to have escaped serious injury after going down in an ugly spill Thursday afternoon at Hawthorne Race Course.

Fires, who has ridden sparingly at this Hawthorne meet, was riding a maiden named Do the Wave when the lead horse in the sprint race, Icanpersevere, broke down going into the far turn, bearing out several paths from the rail as jockey Jesse Campbell attempted to pull him up. Icanpersevere collided with Do the Wave, and both riders flew into the air. Fires, 59, was knocked out by the blow, but soon regained consciousness, and was transported to a nearby hospital as a precautionary measure. Campbell, who was riding his final day at the Hawthorne meet, also went to the hospital to have his right arm evaluated.

Icanperseverve had to be euthanized. Do the Wave was not seriously injured.