02/11/2005 1:00AM

Field still heavy favorite

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Steady wagering action on several separately listed contenders led to a more balanced odds board Friday, the second of four days for Pool 1 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager.

As of 5:20 p.m. Eastern, the mutuel field, or the 24th and "all others" option, was still the 3-2 favorite, having drifted upward from as low as 2-5 when a sizable bet was placed on it Thursday. Churchill Downs officials reported the bet, most likely in the $25,000 range, had been placed through a hub in Maine, a commonly used conduit for many offshore sites.

After the field, the top choices in the Derby futures were Afleet Alex (10-1), Wilko (13-1), Rockport Harbor (14-1), Declan's Moon (15-1), Harlington (16-1), and Roman Ruler (18-1). Handle was nearly $100,000.

Pool 1 of the Derby futures closes at 6 p.m. Eastern on Sunday. Meanwhile, in the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager, which closes Sunday at 6:30, Sweet Catomine was the 3-1 favorite after a total handle of $10,050.