I surely enjoyed my visit to AP on Saturday. It was a real honor to meet Jack and you, the author of his book. I have finished the book which was certainly a "can't put it down" read.
The Van Bergs have been a legend to the wonderful sport of thoroughbred racing and you have done a masterful job of presenting their dedication to the sport. Your heart and feeling for Jack shows. I wish you all well has you continue your book signing tour.
Julie DuVall said:July 10, 2013 3:56 pm PST
The book signing at Hollywood Park was great! Jack made sure to speak to every person in line and did not rush them through. He asked how they were connected to racing (owner, fan, etc) so he could personalize the inscription in each book. He stayed LONG after the advertised ending of the signing so that everyone who wanted to stop by and chat had a chance to do so. He's a class act all the way!
David Wilkinson said:July 7, 2013 5:26 pm PST
Enjoyed reading this book. I remember several events told in this story of Jack's life and learned a great deal that I did not know. Enjoyed meeting Jack and Chris at Prairie Meadows.
Mary Lou Coady said:July 4, 2013 11:14 am PST
Enjoyed meeting Jack at Prairie Meadows….his personality is very much like my father’s—an Iowa farmer that didn’t mince words and meant what he said.
Lost my dad many years ago. Both my parents are gone, so meeting Jack was especially meaningful. Started your book, but haven’t gotten very far with all the work days. I have a few days off coming up, so will enjoy burrowing into the story. Loved the intro. You’re a terrific writer; hope you will continue in that vein.
from TRACK Magazine: written by Ben Hudson said:June 5, 2013 7:30 pm PST
It appears that the fans at Les Bois Park are in for a real treat this
Saturday when Chris Kotulak and Thoroughbred Hall of Fame trainer
Jack Van Berg show up with their new book: JACK - From Grit To Glory.
As it turns out, Kotulak can do more that just talk into a microphone.
The story of the father-son Hall of Fame team of Marion and Jack Van
Berg is full of facts and testimony from the days at the tracks in Nebraska to
the winner’s circle after big races from the West Coast to the East Coast and
everywhere in between.
Kotulak, who was the best thing that ever happened to TVG and who
today is direly missed on their daily programming, grew up at the Nebraska
tracks where the Van Bergs wrote much of their early history. With the
help of several in the Van Berg family and many who were on the Van Berg
payroll, Kotulak tells this story the way no one else could.
There’s a lot of people in the book whose names you will recognize:
like Schvaneveldt, Lukas, Asmussen . . . and even Pumphrey, Carson,
Hudson and McAdams!
Blane Schvaneveldt’s long-time friends Duayne Didericksen and
Mark Brown had a lot to do with getting Van Berg and Kotulak to Les
Bois this weekend. And we hear that Brown is even going to take Kotulak
fly-fishing. We hope they send pictures.
If you’re interested in buying this very good book,
go to: www.jackfromgrittoglory.com.
Ron Ladd said:May 21, 2013 10:20 pm PST
Just wanted to tell a story of what kind of man Jack truly is. Several years ago I was working for my dad Don Ladd in Omaha & trained a few of my own horses. I had 1 horse that had gotten a quarter crack & with pretty much no success for 3 months in healing it 1 day my dad drove up to the barn & told me to get my horse out of his stall. I had no idea why or that when I did I'd see Jack standing outside the barn with a handful of tools. He told me to have someone hold the horse & come stand by him to watch what he was doing. He had went to a hardware store & purchased all the tools he needed & proceeded to work on my horses foot for well over an hour until he'd gotten the quarter crack completely cut out. When he was done he put the foot down & looked at me & said run him next week. I thought if I hadn't been able to run him for 3 months how could I run him in just a few days. Then I thought in my opinion I was standing by who I had always considered the best trainer in the world & if he said run him then run him. I ran him the next week & he ran third, then proceeded to run another third then a second. I've to this day always remembered that experience & thought what a great, quality man Jack is to of been at the top of his profession & he took the time to come over & help me. A groom/trainer with a few horses. Through the years I've told that story many times & have been told that he's done the same for others. What a Kind, Caring, & Genuine Man Jack is & so deserving of having his life story told. Thanks Jack & Chris
Robert Bale said:May 20, 2013 5:48 pm PST
Jack Van Berg will always be remembered by me and the rest of the Bale clan. Jack has done so much for our daughter, Laurie. Naming a horse and book chapter (chapter 28) after her was only the beginning. While Laurie does not have that many close friends, it is so hard for her to get out and about, she treasures the friendship with Jack. She truly loves the MAN!
Lloyd Shwing said:May 18, 2013 9:34 am PST
As a young boy growing up five blocks from the Fairgrounds in New Orleans I was always in awe of Mr. Jack Van Berg. I finally had the pleasure and honor of meeting Jack in person a few weeks ago at Lone Star Park. He was gracious to autograph a copy of his book From Grit to Glory which I devoured. It is a fabulous story about heart, character and determination and should be read by everyone. After meeting Jack and reading his book he is more of an idol now than ever of mine and reminds me of a combination of John Wayne, Steve McQueen and General Patton all rolled up in one. Thank you for being the gracious and honorable individual that you are. Best of luck with the book and of course there will be a movie......
Matthew J. Ellis said:May 11, 2013 5:30 pm PST
Jack, It was a pleasure meeting you at Lone Star Park thank you for the derby pick.
Chris, Job well done thank you for writing with such passion about a true legend in horse racing circles.
George Wood said:May 9, 2013 9:03 pm PST
Thanks Mr. Van Berg, i just wanted to thank you for a nice gift u sent me as a young lad.In 1988 i met u at expo in lexington and mentioned Alysheba was a favorite of mine,and u took my address down and by the time i got home had a signed pic of KY derby win photo. ive since represented USA as leading amateur rider over hurdles and been overseas,the horses have been good to me,but ive met alot of big wigs thru my travels and have my own stable in middleburg,VA but always remembered your generosity,thanks again
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