Feb 14, 2002 12:05 AM

The first of three Kentucky Derby Future Wager pools was announced today with 23 horses listed among the 24 wagering interests. Because of the small number of betting choices, mutuel field will be the favorite among Derby fans across the nation when the wagering completes its four-day run from noon, Thursday to 5:30 p.m., Sunday.

Churchill Downs has installed the mutuel field as the 4-1 morning line favorite. Hollywood Futurity (GI) and Lane's End Breeders' Futurity (GII) winner Siphonic is listed as second choice at 6-1, followed by a trio of contenders listed as co-third choices at 10-1: unbeaten Breeders' Cup Juvenile (GI) winner Johannesburg, Kentucky Jockey Club (GII) winner Repent; and San Vicente (GII) and Hopeful (GI) winner Came Home.

The Future Wager allows racing fans to place wagers on contenders for the Kentucky Derby weeks in advance of the race at odds that may be more attractive than those they would receive on Derby Day. The Kentucky Derby Future Wager is a $2 minimum wager and is a win bet only.

But before running out and betting the farm, players in Las Vegas should compare Future Book prices to Churchill’s odds. In some cases, the variance is huge.

For instance, at Bally’s players can bet Booklet at 100-1, though Churchill lists the colt at 15-1. Another sizeable overlay is Fonz’s, which has a pool morning line of 15-1, but can be bet at Bally’s for 50-1.

The message? Shop around!

Here are the morning line odds for Pool 1:

Booklet, 15-1
Came Home, 10-1
Cappuchino , 50-1
Danthebluegrassman, 30-1
Fonz’s, 15-1
Grey Beard, 50-1
Harlan’s Holiday, 12-1
High Star,30-1
Johannesburg, 10-1
King’s Consul, 50-1
Maybry’s Boy, 50-1
Nokoma, 30-1
Pelirrojo, 50-1
Political Attack, 30-1
Repent, 10-1
Request For Parole, 20-1
Saarland, 15-1
Saratoga Blues, 20-1
Siphonic, 6-1
Stephentown, 15-1
Tempera, 15-1 U S S Tinosa, 30-1
Field, 4-1