CA Trainer Directory
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Jack Van Berg
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Second generation Hall of Famer, following his father, Marion … Inducted in 1985, 15 years after his father … Ended 2006 with career totals of 6,371 wins, second all-time to Dale Baird, and $81,384,881 in purses, 13th all-time to leader D. Wayne Lukas … Was first Thoroughbred trainer to score 5,000 victories, at Arlington Park on July 15, 1987 with Art’s Chandelle … His milestone 6,000th winner was Counterpane Feb.9, 1995 at Santa Anita, the second to reach that lofty total … Named Eclipse Award winner as North America’s top trainer in 1984, the year in which his contentious colt, Gate Dancer, won the Preakness Stakes … His top trainee, Alysheba, was Horse of the Year in 1988, when he won seven stakes and $3.8 million, topped by victory in the $3-million Breeders’ Cup Classic … The Alydar colt had won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes the previous year, missing the Triple Crown when he finished fourth in the Belmont Stakes … Alysheba was racing’s all-time leading earner with $6,679,242; he now ranks ninth in that department … Van Berg chalked up a record 496 victories in 1976, the year he became the first trainer in Thoroughbred history to lead the nation both in victories and money won … Led trainers in races won nine times: 1968-70, ’72, ’74, ’76, ’83, ’84 and ’86 … During those years, he raced a national stable, with several divisions around the country, but in the past several years, most of his horses have been racing in Southern California … Nearly pulled off what might have been one of racing’s greatest upsets when his Herat, at odds of 171-1, narrowly lost to Greinton in the 1986 Santa Anita Handicap … Has always given much time to charitable events connected with the industry, and frequently uses his outstanding auctioneer skills at special fund-raising events designed to aid horsemen … In 1987, received Big Sport of Turfdom award from Turf Publicists of America along with the Jockey Club Medal … The following year was given the Mr. Fitz Award, signifying the top trainer of the year, by the National Turf Writers Association … Opened his own public stable in 1971 after his father’s death … Began working with his father’s horses at age 13 and saddled his first winner at 16 … First stakes victory came in 1955 at Ak-Sar-Ben with Dagazha, a horse owned by his father … Former assistants include Bill Mott and Frank Brothers, both of whom have gone on to noteworthy success … Sons Tim and Tom have served as his chief assistants … Won his first Del Mar stakes in 1972 with Mongo’s Pride in the Escondido; didn’t win his next one until Beyond Perfection captured the Del Mar Debutante in 1990 … Other stakes winners include Fit to Scout, Mamselle Bebette, Little Brianne, Bold Style, Onceinabluemamoon and Blumin Affair … Won the 2006 Quicken Tree Stakes at Hollywood Park with Der Ali … Family: three daughters; two sons.
Statistical data provided by Equibase.