Van Berg, Jack

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Van Berg, Jack Gender: M
John Charles Van Berg
born on 7 June 1936 at 20:00 (= 8:00 PM )
Place Columbus, Nebraska, 41n26, 97w22
Timezone CST h6w (is standard time)
Data source
Rectified from approx. time
Rodden Rating C
Collector: Scholfield
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_gemcol.18.gif 17°05' s_mo.18.gif s_capcol.18.gif 21°02 Asc.s_sagcol.18.gif 18°03'

Jack Van Berg (Alysheba, a stallion he trained)


American Hall of Fame horse trainer, best known for training Alysheba who won the 1987 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes and the 1988 Breeders' Cup Classic. Born into a horse racing family, his father was the Hall of Fame trainer, Marion Van Berg. Both father and son have been inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, New York.

For nineteen straight years between 1959 and 1977, Van Berg was the leading trainer at Ak-Sar-Ben Racetrack in Omaha, Nebraska. In 1976, he set a record for the most wins in a year with 496 and was also the United States Champion Thoroughbred Trainer by earnings.

The trainer of Gate Dancer, he was voted the 1984 Eclipse Award for Outstanding Trainer and in 1985 he was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. In 1987 he received the Big Sport of Turfdom Award. He is also an inductee of the Nebraska Racing Hall of Fame.

On 15 July 1987, Van Berg became the first trainer to win 5,000 races when he sent Art's Chandelle to victory at Arlington Park. As at the end of September 2008, Jack Van Berg ranks second all-time in career wins among American Thoroughbred trainers.

He mentored many top trainers, including Hall of Famer Bill Mott, Wayne Catalano, and Frank Brothers, all of whom started off as assistants to Van Berg who led all American trainers in wins nine times.

His life (and that of his father, Marion H. Van Berg) is chronicled in the book JACK, From Grit To Glory - A Lifetime of Mentoring, Dedication and Perseverance written by Nebraska native Chris Kotulak, published in 2013. The book was a semi-finalist in the 2014 Dr. Tony Ryan Book Award.

Jack Van Berg died in Columbus, Nebraska on 27 December 2017 at age 81.

Link to Wikipedia biography


Source Notes

Sy Scholfield quotes birth notice, The Columbus Telegram (Columbus, Nebraska), Tuesday 9 June 1936, page 8: "born Sunday evening at St. Mary's hospital." A birth time of 8 PM is speculative.


  • Personal : Death : Long life more than 80 yrs (Age 81)
  • Vocation : Sports : Race Horses (Trainer)
  • Vocation : Misc. : Animal Breeder/Trainer (Horse trainer)
  • Notable : Awards : Hall of Fame
  • Notable : Awards : Vocational award