ANDERSON — Jason Dillander notched the 2,000th win of his career as he piloted Hannah Abbot to victory in the opening division of Indiana Silver Sire Stakes for 3-year-old pacing fillies at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday.
The 1-minute, 53.1-second victory marked a lifetime best performance for the 3-year-old daughter of Dave Panlone and a career milestone for the 37-year-old reigns man. Trained by Ernie Gaskin, Hannah Abbott was able to take advantage of a perfect second-over trip to record the second win of her sophomore season. Owned by Milt Leeman and Darla Gaskin, Hannah Abbot has amassed over $30,000 through 18 lifetime outings.
A native of Kentucky, Dillander learned about harness racing at an early age, working with his father, Charlie, around the Kentucky racing circuit. Dillander developed a natural talent with horses that soon transferred over to the race bike.
He began his career as a harness racing driver at the age of 19. Now in his 16th season as a driver, Dillander completed his seventh consecutive year with purse earnings in excess of $1.6 million in 2011.
Dillander posted his best year to date in 2012 with over $2.1 million in purse earnings while visiting the winner's circle 234 times, nearly doubling his stats from the previous year. His biggest career win to date was the $135,000 American National stakes at Balmoral Park in 2006 behind The Quiet Mon for trainer John Butenschoen.
He later scored his quickest win behind Lifeguard on Duty in a time of 1:48.4 in 2007 for trainer Erv Miller.
Dillander called the Chicago racing circuit home for a few years before venturing to Hoosier Park in 2008, landing in fourth place on the driver standings that year. He finished sixth in the driver standings last year at Hoosier Park.
Hoosier Park vice president and general manager Rick Moore, along with Dillander's friends and fellow drivers, was in the winner's circle to congratulate and acknowledge his accomplishment Friday.