From Grit To Glory

A Lifetime of Mentoring, Dedication and Perseverance
The True Story of Jack Van Berg, an American Horse Racing Legend
A Biography by Chris Kotulak


This page is the official web page for the book "JACK, From Grit To Glory"; the biography of Thoroughbred Hall of Fame Trainer Jack Van Berg, written by television horse racing analyst Chris Kotulak . The book is now available for purchase. This website is presently in development and is frequently updated.

Alysheba, won the 1987 Kentucky Derby and was voted Champion Three-Year-Old Male.   Won the 1988 Breeders' Cup Classic and was voted 1988 Horse of the Year. 
Since I began writing this book so many wonderful stories have been shared with me, not only from Jack, but by the family, friends and peers of Jack Van Berg.  Maybe it's my pride of being a fellow Nebraskan, maybe it's my love of horse racing, or maybe it's my love of the iconic man that "Jack" became, and still is.  Whatever the reason, The Van Berg story simply must be told.
It is a true story of hardship, heartache and heartfelt joy.  The life and remarkable accomplishments of Jack Van Berg is a testament to discipline, respect and commitment.  The characters are real, yet the accounts of humans and horses seem unbelievable; as if they are from a different time - because they are.  Step back and feel the embrace and warmth of horse racing and life before the age of the internet and the cell phone.  Jack lived through a golden age of horse racing, trained champions, broke records and became a Hall of Fame trainer.

This biography  reveals how a son worshiped his father and how those he mentored would later worship him.

A trainer of horses; a leader of men; a hero to us all.  Jack!
       -Chris Kotulak
Jack and Chris
Jack Van Berg and Chris Kotulak

Visitors since 1/25/13