07/03/2002 12:00AM

Churchill to take Cup bet


Breeders' Cup and Churchill Downs Inc. reached an agreement late Wednesday allowing Churchill and four of its tracks to take future bets on the three Breeders' Cup races this weekend, officials said.

The agreement will add Hollywood Park in Southern California, Hoosier Park in Indiana, Calder Race Course in Florida, and Ellis Park and Churchill Downs in Kentucky to the string of nationwide sites expecting to take the bet, along with those tracks off-track and intertrack betting locations.

Churchill's other track, Arlington Park outside Chicago, was unaffected by the contract dispute, because it is acting as the betting hub for the future wagers. Under state law, a track must offer any wager for which it acts as the hub.

Breeders' Cup was scheduled to open betting on the three races - the Classic, Distaff, and Sprint - on Thursday at 1 p.m. Eastern. Bets will be accepted until Sunday at 7 p.m.

The future bets, modeled along the lines of Churchill's popular Kentucky Derby future bet, offer wagering on 23 individual horses in each race, plus a field bet including all other horses. Bets are to win, and no refunds will be offered.