08/26/2002 12:00AM

Houghton sidelined after spill

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MUSKEGON, Mich. - Terry Houghton, the leading rider at Great Lakes Downs who is currently second in the national rankings by victories, will be sidelined until at least this weekend as the result of a concussion he sustained during the seventh race at Great Lakes on Sunday evening.

Houghton was knocked out after his mount, Sounds Sunny, clipped heels and tossed him some distance forward. A trailing horse then hit him in the head, ripping his helmet away.

Houghton, 31, reained consciousness after arriving at Mercy Hospital, where initial tests showed no broken bones. He remained hospitalized Monday for additional testing. His agent, Frank Garoufalis, did not accept mounts for Friday, but said that Houghton should be able to ride on Saturday.

Through Sunday, Houghton had ridden 253 winners, seven behind national leader Russell Baze. Locally, Houghton has scored 175 times this meet, 74 more than Freddie Mata.