02/17/2015 12:25PM

Magna 5 wager to return with a few tweaks


The Magna 5 will be returning in the near future with a lower minimum bet and a new name. The Magna 5 will link five races within a one-hour period from Stronach Group tracks.

The Magna 5 debuted in 2004 but has not been held since 2010. This new edition will offer races from Florida, Maryland, and California. Maryland will serve as the wagering hub, according to Sal Sinatra, general manager of the Maryland Jockey Club.

The Magna 5 was a $2 minimum bet with a 22 percent takeout. Plans call for it to be a $1 bet when it returns. Although the takeout has not been finalized, it is not expected to rise and could be a bit lower. The bet will have a guaranteed pool, maybe $250,000.

The bet’s original name refers to Magna Entertainment, the former holding company for Frank Stronach’s racing enterprises. Because the parent company is now the Stronach Group, a new name will be required. Two currently being kicked around the corporate offices are the Cross-Country Pick 5 and – I love this one – The Frankie Five.

The wager could start as early as March 14.

◗ When the Pimlico meet begins April 2, the Rainbow 6 will be added to the betting menu, according to Sinatra.

◗ Maryland Jockey Club officials are still working to lower the takeout on wagers at Laurel and Pimlico, but that is unlikely to occur until racing returns to Laurel in August following the Pimlico session and a break between meets.