If the Wilpons stick to their stated plan of selling only 25 percent of the Mets, then Vitamin Water co-founder Mike Repole likely is out of the running.

In a brief telephone interview Sunday, the longtime Mets season-ticket holder told Newsday he has decided not to pursue a partnership with the Wilpons "under the current circumstances of the deal."

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"I wish the Wilpons well," the Long Island resident said. "Under other circumstances, I might be interested."

Repole declined to elaborate on the terms under which he might be interested. But it stands to reason that he, like many other potential baseball owners, would prefer to purchase majority control.

A St. John's graduate and owner of Kentucky Derby contender Uncle Mo, Repole told Newsday last month that he was intrigued by the idea of becoming a Mets owner. He instructed his representatives to contact the Wilpons after they went public with their search for "strategic partners."

But the Wilpons have had a tough month since that Friday afternoon announcement, headlined by the public release of the allegations within the billion-dollar lawsuit filed by the special trustee in the Bernard Madoff fraud case. Last week, it was revealed that they received a secret $25-million loan from Major League Baseball last November.

Steve Greenberg, a managing director of Allen & Co. who is acting as an adviser to the Wilpons, recently told Newsday that he expects the Mets' search for minority investors to take months.