04/03/2003 1:00AM

Co-choices 7-2 early in Future bet


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Empire Maker and Badge of Silver, both of whom will have their final preps for the Kentucky Derby next Saturday, were the 7-2 co-favorites in early wagering in Pool 3 of the Derby Future Wager.

As of 6:30 p.m. Thursday, and with only $14,547 bet into the win-only Derby Future Wager, Empire Maker and Badge of Silver were favored over the mutuel field (6-1), Atswhatimtalknbout (8-1), Indy Dancer (14-1), Kafwain (16-1), and Peace Rules (17-1).

Wagering was even lighter during the same time period Thursday in the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager. With just $9,950 in the pool, three horses were 7-1 co-choices: Holiday Lady, Santa Catarina, and Storm Flag Flying. The mutuel field was 8-1, followed by Danuta (9-1), Lady Tak (9-1), Bird Town (12-1), and Elloluv (16-1).

Both the Oaks and Derby Pools close Sunday at 6:30 p.m. Eastern.

Wagering was been suspended on one horse in each pool: Trust N Luck in Derby Pool 3, and Mezzo Soprano in the Oaks. Their connections announced this week that neither will run in the respective races.