Harness racing driver Bruce Ranger is only one win away from 9,000 career victories. He has a legitimate chance to achieve the milestone Friday night at Bangor Raceway.
Ranger, who drove to one victory Thursday night at Scarborough Downs, will be in the sulky for 8 of 10 races on Friday’s Bangor card, which has a 5 p.m. post time.
“Bruce Ranger is an incredibly successful driver with a track record that speaks for itself,” Michael Hopkins, Manager of Racing Operations at Hollywood Casino Hotel & Raceway, said in a release. “He is dedicated to this sport, dedicated to the animals, and this achievement is well deserved. We look forward to the celebration.”
Ranger won his first race in 1979 in Skowhegan and has raced in Bangor since the 1980s. He is among the winningest harness drivers of all time.
Ranger ranks fourth in career victories for Maine drivers behind William Parker Jr. (11,300), Walter Case Jr. (11,049) and George Brennan (10,234). He achieved his 8,500th win in May 2013 at Pompano Park track in Florida.
According to ustrotting.com, Ranger ranks 24th on the North American harness racing wins list. He is 17th among active drivers.
Ranger left racing in June of 2015 before returning to the track last year.
“We are fortunate to have drivers like Bruce who have a successful career in this sport to help usher in the new racers who are coming on to the harness racing scene,” Hopkins said. “Having his 9,000th win occur at Bangor Raceway will be special, and we are optimistic we’ll get to see it happen. It’s a big deal.”
The 136th season of racing at Bangor Raceway began in May and will continue every Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday through July 19. All post times are set for 5 p.m.
A special Independence Day card is scheduled at 6:30 p.m. July 4.
After the agricultural fair season, racing resume for three dates in September, then returns to a regular schedule Oct. 8.
This story was updated at 11:05 a.m. on Friday, June 14, to reflect that Ranger won a race on Thursday night at Scarborough Downs and is within one victory of 9,000.