03/03/2006 1:00AM

Barbican injured, out of Derby pool

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Barbican, who was a member of Daily Racing Form's latest Kentucky Derby Watch top 25 and had been an individual betting interest in Pool 2 of the Derby Future Wager, has been injured and will be out at least several months, it was announced early Friday. Churchill Downs immediately suspended wagers on Barbican before betting into Pool 2 opened Friday.

Barbican was found to have a small fracture of a sesamoid bone in his right hind leg, said Jimmy Bell of Darley Stable, which owns the colt. Barbican apparently incurred the injury during a Thursday workout at the Palm Meadows training center in Florida, where he has been stabled with trainer Eoin Harty.

Barbican, an A.P. Indy colt who won a Jan. 15 allowance at Gulfstream in his last race, was scheduled to undergo surgery at an Ocala, Fla., clinic, said Bell.

"The prognosis is excellent," Bell said. "He should return the second half of the year, hopefully by Saratoga."

A total of $413 had been bet in Pool 2 on Barbican, who was 49-1 on Thursday, the first of four days for the wager. The pool closes Sunday at 6 p.m. Eastern. No refunds are made in the future wager.

Meanwhile, as of 4:15 p.m. Eastern on Friday, the mutuel field was holding firm as the 5-2 favorite in Pool 2. The field, the "all others" alternative to the separate interests, was followed by Strong Contender (9-1), Barbaro (12-1), Bluegrass Cat (13-1), and Lawyer Ron (13-1). Handle at the time was $64,864.

In Pool 2 of the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager, on handle of $7,763, Balance was the 5-1 favorite Friday, followed by Wild Fit (7-1), Misty Rosette (8-1), and Folklore (9-1). The Oaks futures close Sunday at 6:30 p.m. Eastern.

- additional reporting by Marty McGee