Magna 5 Wager Returns Saturday

Magna 5, the popular $2 pick five wager on races at coast-to-coast tracks for a $500,000 guaranteed pool, returns for a third year Saturday. Along with generous payoffs, the fast-paced presentation of five races in about an hour has proven to be an attractive feature of the wager.

Saturday's 2006 Magna 5 schedule of races includes the Nellie Morse Stakes from Laurel Park as the first leg and four races from the rich Sunshine Millions program which matches Florida breds against California breds. Gulfstream Park will be host to the Distaff (Leg B) and Turf (Leg D), while Santa Anita Park plays host to the Filly and Mare Turf (Leg C) and $1 million Classic (Leg E).

The fourth leg will feature the last ride in the Hall of Fame career of Jerry Bailey, who will ride Silver Tree for trainer Bill Mott.

The wager begins each week at Laurel. First post time is approximately 4:30 pm ET. Magna 5 is offered at participating racetracks, off-track betting centers and online or by phone with XpressBet.

If no one correctly selects all five winners, 75% of that week's pool is carried over to the following week and those that select four correct winners split 25% of the pool.

In the wager's initial week last year when Magna 5 also included Sunshine Millions races, there was only one winning ticket that returned a record $406,985.80. Musique Tujours' ($142.20) upset victory in the Sunshine Millions Classic at Gulfstream Park was the major contributor to the lofty payout.

Over 10 weeks last year, Magna 5 drew an average pool of $567,934. In 2004, the Magna 5 wagering pool averaged $545,275.