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The roots of Maine racing go back to around 1893 when Standardbred races were run at Bass Park in Bangor. Racing was also conducted at State Fair Park in Lewiston and at various fair meets around the state.

In 1935 the State of Maine authorized pari-mutual wagering and legalized betting began at it's existing tracks. On July 2nd 1950 a new player came to Maine the Thoroughbred as Scarborough Downs unveiled it's new flat track. Scarborough Downs was opened as the first night racing venue on the east coast. Thoroughbreds raced exclusively till 1969 when a split meet was established, by 1973 the thoroughbreds were history.

During the late eighties a fierce legal battle raged over prime dates between Scarborough Downs and Lewiston Raceway forcing the latter out of business.

In 2003 Maine passed legislation that allowed Racinos in the state. The measure needed to be approved by the local townspeople and Bangor Raceway received approval while the folks in Scarborough have repeatedly rejected the measure causing more bad blood with track management. 

The Maine Agricultural Fairs are the heart of Maine Harness Racing.  Starting at the northern most pari mutual track on the East Coast and ending on the Southern New Hampshire border in early October, with seven other meets sandwiched in, they provide a proving ground for two and three year old Maine Breds. These fairs help keep the Maine Breeding Industry alive, which in turn has kept harness racing alive in New England, where it has all but vanished elsewhere. If you look back at these fairs you will see that many top drivers in the country cut their teeth as provisional drivers there.