01/31/2004 12:00AM

Magna pick 5 pays $13K

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ARCADIA, Calif. - The inaugural Magna 5, a $2 pick five bet linking races from four racetracks, paid $13,928.40 to 28 winning tickets Saturday, with the wager's handle falling just short of its guarantee.

The pick five handled $460,400, short of the $500,000 pool guaranteed by Magna Entertainment, the owner of the racetracks involved. Magna had purchased an insurance policy to cover the difference in the event of a shortfall.

"Obviously, we would have liked to have had the handle higher, but this was the first time out and people are not used to playing a multitrack pick five," said Tim Capps of the Maryland Jockey Club. "We'll be back next week."

The races involved in the Magna 5 were run in a little more than an hour throughout the country.

The winners were City Fire ($19.20) in the Nellie Morse Stakes at Laurel, Hidden Ransom ($19.20) in an allowance race at Gulfstream Park, Red Rioja ($4.40) in the Brown Bess Handicap at Golden Gate Fields, Major Leaguer ($9.80) in an allowance race at Gulfstream; and Leroidesanimaux ($6.40) in an allowance race at Santa Anita. Red Rioja and Leroidesanimaux were the only winning favorites.

City Fire survived a steward's inquiry and an objection after lugging out sharply in the final furlong.

Magna intends to offer the pick five every Saturday.