02/19/2002 12:00AM

Cup future bet scaled down

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Future wagering pools for Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championship races this year will likely be limited to 24 betting interests, a Breeders' Cup official said Tuesday, not 100 or more, as initially proposed.

The decision will put the size of the betting fields on par with the existing Kentucky Derby future wager, which offers betting on 23 individual horses and a field entry encompassing all other 3-year-olds. The Breeders' Cup future wagers, which may be offered on several, if not all, of the eight Breeders' Cup races, are expected to mimic that formula.

Ken Kirchner, Breeders' Cup's director of simulcasting, said the proposed betting field had to be reduced because of several concerns, including cost. Tote companies had asked Breeders' Cup to pay for changes that needed to be made to their systems to handle the 100-horse wager.

"It was a number of tote issues, from cost, to amount of time to prepare, to compatibility between systems," Kirchner said.