In this 2015 file photo, drivers and horses make their way around the track at the historic Bangor Raceway. This year's season, the raceway's 135th, gets underway on Saturday afternoon with a day of events leading up to the Kentucky Derby. Credit: Gabor Degre | File

BANGOR, Maine — The 135th season of racing at historic Bangor Raceway gets underway on Saturday afternoon with a day of events leading up to the Kentucky Derby.

Live racing starts at 2:30 p.m. and a full slate of nine races is scheduled. Hollywood Casino will be offering prizes for the best hat and attire.

Coverage of the Kentucky Derby begins at 4:30 p.m. and will be on display under the grandstand with opportunities to place wagers before the Derby post time of 6:46 p.m.

“The Kentucky Derby is such a time-honored tradition with harness racing, we love to have fun with it,” Hollywood Casino Hotel & Raceway Manager of Racing Operations Michael Hopkins said in a statement. “Harness racing at Bangor Raceway is also a tradition that is embedded in the fabric of this community. We are entering the 135th season of racing in Bangor, and it’s always exciting to get underway.”

Admission to the grandstand is free. Race programs will be sold at the track for $1 starting the day before each race card. For more information visit

On Saturday, Bangor Raceway will host live music by Pete Nickerson, offer food and drinks at Rocky’s Trackside Grill.

The 2018 racing season at Bangor Raceway continues Tuesdays and Fridays through May with a 5 p.m. post time. During June and July, races are scheduled on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 5 p.m. and Fridays at 7 p.m.

Special Triple Crown Saturday race cards will be held on May 19 and June 9. Wednesday July 4 will feature a special Independence Day race card at 6 p.m. followed by fireworks at 9 p.m.

Simulcast wagering is available at the track on days with live racing at the Win, Place & Show Lounge under the grandstand. All races at Hollywood Casino Hotel & Raceway are simulcast throughout the country.

The permanent simulcast wagering Race Book remains at Hollywood Casino’s main facility at 500 Main Street in Bangor. On days with live racing at Bangor Raceway, racing fans will have the option of simulcast wagering either at Hollywood Casino or at the track.

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Pete Warner

Pete graduated from Bangor High School in 1980 and earned a B.S. in Journalism (Advertising) from the University of Maine in 1986. He grew up fishing at his family's camp on Sebago Lake but didn't take...