02/12/2004 1:00AM

$30K plunge into Derby Pool 1


The opening odds in Pool 1 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager took on a decidedly lopsided tilt when $30,000 was bet on the mutuel field just minutes after wagering opened Thursday.

According to Churchill Downs officials, one or more people betting through a hub in Maine accounted for "most of" the big wager shortly after windows opened at noon Eastern on Thursday. Maine serves as the hub for numerous offshore and Internet wagering sites.

As of 5 p.m. Eastern on Thursday, the field was the 1-10 favorite, followed by Lion Heart (35-1), Master David (40-1), Eurosilver (45-1), and Tapit (50-1). The handle at that point was more than $78,000.

As of 5 p.m. Thursday, handle in Pool 1 of the Kentucky Oaks futures had barely surpassed $3,300. Halfbridled was the 5-2 favorite over the field (7-2).

Betting on Pool 1 for both the Derby and Oaks continues through Sunday at 6:30 p.m. Eastern.