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Harness Racing Will Return To Bangor's Hollywood Casino Raceway

Harness racing will soon return to Bangor's Hollywood Casino Raceway after a pandemic-related hiatus.

The casino opened for indoor gambling in July, and General Manager Austin Muchemore this week told state regulators that racing should get back on track on August 19.

Currently, the track's grandstand is on loan to the Eastern Maine Medical Center, which has set up a Covid-19 testing facility there.

"When all of this started no one anticipated we'd still be needing a testing facility at this point in the year. And unfortunately it seems we need one not only now but will need one into the future. But we've worked with them to come up with a plan."

Muchemore says harness racing initially will take place two days a week without any spectators.

Scarborough Downs has been holding limited races since earlier this summer.

The southern Maine venue is now allowing spectators, capped at 150, and is planning two and three days of racing each week through October.

A Columbia University graduate, Fred began his journalism career as a print reporter in Vermont, then came to Maine Public in 2001 as its political reporter, as well as serving as a host for a variety of Maine Public Radio and Maine Public Television programs. Fred later went on to become news director for New England Public Radio in Western Massachusetts and worked as a freelancer for National Public Radio and a number of regional public radio stations, including WBUR in Boston and NHPR in New Hampshire.