03/15/2002 1:00AM

Johannesburg stays Future pick


Johannesburg continued to be the lukewarm favorite as betting into Pool 2 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager neared the halfway point Friday.

As of 6:30 p.m. Eastern on Friday, the second of four days for wagering on Pool 2, Johannesburg was the 4-1 favorite, followed by Siphonic (7-1), Repent (9-1), Came Home (11-1), Harlan's Holiday (11-1), Saarland (11-1), and Booklet (14-1). The handle was only $51,917.

Pool 2 is open until Sunday at 5:30 p.m. Before closing time, bettors will be able to take into account the results of three Triple Crown preps - the Florida Derby on Saturday, and the Gotham Stakes and Tampa Bay Derby on Sunday - but not a fourth prep, the San Felipe, which will be run later Sunday evening at Santa Anita.

Results of the Future Wager are based on the 128th Kentucky Derby, to be run May 4 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. The win-only wager is a $2 minimum with a 16 percent takeout. The wager is available in 34 states, including all major racing jurisdictions.

Pool 3 is set for April 4-7.