Book Signing Dates



 August 13 & 14
 EmD Book signing weekend at
Emerald Downs Racetrack
 January 24
 Saturday Hou
Book signing at
Sam Houston Race Park; 5p - 8p 
 Saturday  FG Book signing &
The Van Berg Stakes 
 February  Saturday Tam
Book signing &
RTCA Golf Charity/Auction 
 April  Saturday LS
Remember Me Horse
Rescue Gala/Auction 
 April  Sunday Haw
Book Signing & Illinois Derby 
 June 27
 Friday  HP Book Signing & Opening Night;
Hazel Park Raceway;
Detroit, MI first
Thoroughbred meet in 30 years;
7:30p post
 July 12
 Saturday  LS Book signing at
Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie
(DFW), Texas
 July 19
 Saturday  Arp Book signing at Arapahoe Park;
Aurora, CO; noon - 3p.
 October 18
 Saturday  TuP Book signing at Turf Paradise;
Phoenix, AZ; noon - 3p
 May 4
 Saturday  Fon Kentucky Derby Day, Fonner Park;
Grand Island, NE
 May 11
 Saturday  Hpo Horsemen’s Park; Omaha, NE
 May 17
 Friday  Pim Black-Eyed Susan Day;
Pimlico Racecourse; Baltimore, MD
 May 18
 Saturday  LaD Preakness Day;
Louisiana Downs; Bossier City, LA
 June 8
 Saturday  Boi Belmont Stakes Day;
Les Bois Park; Boise Idaho (Jack and Chris)
 June 29
 Saturday  Prm Cornhusker Handicap (Jack and Chris)
 July 6
 Saturday  Hol Gold Cup Day at Hollywood Park
 July 13
 Saturday  AP Million Preview Day at Arlington Park
(Jack and Chris)

 July 14
 Sunday  KHP  Kentucky Horse Park; Lexington, KY
 "Battle in the Saddle" 
 July 15
 Monday  FT  Fasig-Tipton; Lexington, KY -
July Select Racing Age Sale
  August 10
 Saturday   Sar National Museum of Racing:
10a - noon; Sar Racecourse: 12:30p-?
*look for JVB at the Fasig-Tipton NY Bred Preferred Sale at 7p
  August 17

  Cls Book signings at Columbus Days Festivities:
daytime and Columbus Races: at night 
  August 30
 Friday Rui
Chris Kotulak book signing in front of the
Ruidoso Downs Gift Shop from 12pm - 2pm.
Chris will also be signing his book at the
Track Magazine booth during the
Ruidoso Select Sale.
  September 14
 Saturday Del
 Delaware Owners Day;
Delaware Park; Wilmington, DE
  September 29

   RP Oklahoma Derby; Remington Park, OKC, OK
  October 19
 Saturday CT
 West Virginia Breeders Classic Weekend;
Charles Town Races, WV
*entire dates & details to follow

  November 16
 Saturday Ret
Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame;
Retama Park, San Antonio, TX


Breeders' Cup Official Experiences

MEDIA ALERT! Conference Call Thurs. Sept. 19, 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET



WHO: Best-known for training 1987 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner Alysheba, JACK VAN BERG is one of the sport’s most accomplished horsemen. Van Berg’s most prominent Breeders’ Cup moment came in 1988, when Alysheba won the Breeders’ Cup Classic. His new book , Jack, From Grit To Glory, chronicles his record-breaking life in the sport of kings.

  • He will be at the 30th Breeders’ Cup World Championships Nov. 1-2 working as Expert Handicapper and Special Guest for “Breeders’ Cup Experiences,” the Breeders’ Cup’s travel/experience program for fans who want to do horse racing’s championship weekend in a special way.

CHRIS KOTULAK is the lifelong journalist, television horse racing analyst and producer – and the author of Jack, From Grit To Glory.

WHAT: With November fast approaching, Van Berg will weigh in on Breeders’ Cup contenders, his role with Breeders’ Cup Experiences, his plans regarding California racing, the book and prospects for the 2014 Kentucky Derby.

Contact: Steve Griffith, Vizion Group PR, sgriffith@viziongroup.net, 484 433 7757; Loren Hebel-Osborne, Breeders’ Cup Experiences, lhosborne@quintevents.com, 502 558 7801


Audio Clip: Jack and Chris Interview, Jan 2012:  "Tennessee Wright & Tennessee Rite"

Special thanks to KIDO Radio; Boise ID, for use of the interview with Jack Van Berg; 6.5.2013

Audio Clip Courtesy of: SportsradioKJR - Seattle, The Win Place Show, with Joe Withee and Rob Rao, 7/21/2013

9.05.13 Jack Van Berg in the News: Press Release courtesy of Delaware Park News & Notes

Hall of Fame trainer Jack Van Berg book signing adds to action-packed Owner’s Day at Delaware Park on September 14

Wilmington, Del., September 5, 2013 — A book signing by Hall of Fame trainer Jack Van Berg will add to an action-packed Owner’s Day at Delaware Park on Saturday, September 14.  Van Berg will be signing copies of his biography Jack, From Grit to Glory, written by television racing analyst and author Chris Kotulak, near the White Grove Tent throughout the day.

Jack, From Grit to Glory is the life story of the Hall of Fame trainer from Columbus, Nebraska, best known for conditioning the 1987 Kentucky Derby winner Alysheba.

“Jack lived through the golden age of horse racing, trained champions, broke records and became a Hall of Fame trainer,” said Kotulak.  “This biography reveals how a son worshipped his father and how those he mentored would later worship him.”

The event will add to a full card of live racing and a tribute to the recently retired former five-time leading DelawarePark jockey Ramon Dominguez.

The live racing card will feature four Delaware Certified Stakes, two trophy races honoring the Delaware State Senators and Representatives and a pair of Owner’s Day Stakes.

The Ramon Dominguez Tribute will include a limited edition Ramon Dominguez bobble head available for $20 each or three for $50, with proceeds benefiting the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund, and a commemorative 8 x 10 photo of the defending three-time Eclipse Award-winning rider will be given away free.

The festivities are sponsored by DelawarePark, the Delaware Certified Thoroughbred Program and the Delaware Thoroughbred Horsemen Association.

Live racing will be held on Saturdays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.  Daily first race post time is set for 1:15 p.m.  Admission and general parking are free.  Closing Day is Wednesday, October 9.


8.14.13 Jack Van Berg in the News: Press Release courtesy of The Saratogian
Hall of Fame trainer Van Berg discusses biography "Jack: From Grit To Glory"

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Author Chris Kotulak was quick to jokingly chide Hall of Fame trainer Jack Van Berg when asked about the experience he had writing the man’s biography.

“It was a real pain in the butt,” Kotulak said with a smile. “No, a royal pain in the butt.”

The two were in town last week to publicize the new book, “Jack: From Grit To Glory.” Kotulak, the track announcer at Remington Park, said he was approached by Van Berg, a fellow Nebraska native, to write his story.

“I had been writing some stories about the now-closed racetrack in Omaha called Ak-Sar-Ben,” Kotulak explained. “Those stories felt good to write and tell because I was part of them myself.

“When I was still working at TVG, I was reporting that day and I walked to the paddock and up to the front side of the racetrack. Jack was sitting there by the path. We chit-chatted, and of course we knew each other. We were both Nebraska boys. I said, 'Have you read those stories I've been writing about Ak-Sar-Ben?' He didn't even say yes or no, he said, 'I want you to write my book.'”

Kotulak added that the experience of writing the book included going back and forth with Van Berg and his family on certain details. Certain parts were rewritten multiple times, but the book's subject was thrilled with how it came out.

“He did such a tremendous job with research,” Van Berg said of Kotulak. “He came out with things that I didn't even remember.”

Van Berg’s accomplishments speak for themselves. A winner of more than 6,300 career races, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1985. His horses won three Triple Crown races, he won nineteen straight training titles at Ak-Sar-Ben from 1959 to 1977, and several of his former assistants, including Hall of Famer Bill Mott, have become world-renowned horsemen themselves.

Van Berg learned much of what he knew from his father Marion, also a Hall of Famer. A large portion of the book is devoted to lessons Jack learned growing up as part of Marion’s operation, which spanned from owning and training thoroughbreds to running a sales ring in Nebraska.

Marion was America’s most victorious owner 14 times and specialized in claiming races in the Midwest. He was the first inductee in the Nebraska Racing Hall of Fame, and his son said he got there with a tremendous work ethic he passed down to his children.

“My sister was 13 and they were on the farm fixing fences,” Jack said. “They got on up there a ways and left the truck behind. He told her to go get it. She said, 'I don't know how to drive.' He said, 'You won't learn no younger.' That was one of his greatest sayings. He taught me a work ethic that I thank the Lord every day for.”

The horse most fans of the sport associate with Jack Van Berg is Alysheba, who won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes in 1987 before adding the Breeders’ Cup Classic in 1988. The call of the latter race featured announcer Tom Durkin christening the son of Alydar “America’s horse,” and the trainer remembers just how special the colt was.

“He was just so talented,” Van Berg said. “If they'd have raced Alysheba as a 5-year-old, nobody would've come close to him. He was that talented, and he could do things you just couldn't believe.”

Kotulak hopes those who read the book come away with a new appreciation for Van Berg, who the cover refers to as an American horse racing legend.

“He told me a lot of stories I hadn't heard, some I'd heard bits and pieces of,” he said. “I tried to just let him tell them and listen to what he had to say.

“I hope (readers) will get a connection to the past, some nostalgia. They'll learn about a real live man that was a strict taskmaster, because that's the way he was brought up, but they'll learn about a very benevolent man as well.”

Meanwhile, when asked about how he hopes to be remembered, Van Berg’s response barely mentioned his on-track achievements.

“You can't believe the kids that have come up, that weren't kids anymore, that had worked for me when they were young,” he said. “I've had a lot of them, at book signings, come up and thank me. That is what makes me feel good, what I've done for those people.”

“Jack: From Grit To Glory” is on sale now, and can be purchased through the book’s website and at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.

Source: http://www.saratogian.com/articles/2013/08/14/sports/doc520ad5cc84eb6411004610.txt

7.07.13 Jack Van Berg in the News:
Press release courtesy of Arlington International Racecourse Barn Notes, Sunday July 7, 2013


Hall of Fame trainer Jack Van Berg, who became the first trainer to win 5,000 races when he saddled Art’s Chandelle to victory at Arlington Park on July 15, 1987, will be at Arlington on Million Preview Day Saturday, July 13, to sign copies of his biography Jack, From Grit to Glory.
As told by television racing analyst and author Chris Kotulak,  Jack, From Grit to Glory is the true story depicting the hardships and joys of young Jack Van Berg, who emerged from the prairie lands of Columbus, Nebraska, to train champions, break records, and become a Hall of Fame trainer like his father, Marion H. Van Berg.
Racing fans will be able to purchase copies of the book for $20 and have it autographed by Van Berg from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. just outside of the Arlington Gift Store on the Apron level adjacent to the Food Court.

7.04.13 Jack Van Berg in the News: Press Release courtesy of Stallionesearch.com

Meet National Hall of Fame Trainer Jack Van Berg at Prairie Meadows Book Signing June 29 During Fest

ALTOONA, IA—JUNE 13, 2013—As told by television racing analyst and author Chris Kotulak, Jack, From Grit to Glory is the true story depicting the hardships and joys of young Jack Van Berg, who emerged from the prairie lands of Columbus, Nebraska, to train champions, break records, and become a Hall of Fame trainer like his father.

In the book, Kotulak relates the now-storied interview between the all-business Van Berg and hawkish sportscaster Howard Cosell, who criticized him for bringing Bold Ego, a lesser known contender, to the 1981 Kentucky Derby. Van Berg turned 78 on June 7.

Today, Van Berg lives in California and he is still actively training racehorses in a career that’s spanned 56 years. He is most readily known as the trainer of 1987 Kentucky Derby winner Alysheba, voted Champion Three-Year-Old Male in 1987 and Horse of the Year in 1988. Van Berg has ties to the Prairie Meadows Cornhusker (Grade III), having won the race three times including 1985 with Gate Dancer (1984 Preakness winner) when the race was previously was held as The Cornhusker Handicap (1966-1995) at Aksarben in Omaha, Nebraska.

Racing fans are invited to Prairie Meadows June 29 to meet the legendary trainer Jack Van Berg.

Jack C. Van Berg is a living legend throughout the racing industry. He became the first trainer in North America to win 5,000 races in 1987, and he remains the fourth leading trainer, all-time with 6,417 wins. He will make a rare visit to Iowa to greet racing fans at Prairie Meadows and sign his biography, “Jack, From Grit to Glory, a Lifetime of Mentoring, Dedication, and Perseverance.”

Photo and interview opportunities with Jack C. Van Berg WHEN:
Saturday, June 29, 2013 Photos and video: 5:00 p.m. Book signing: 5:30 p.m. (Book purchase price at Prairie Meadows: $20.00) 6:30 p.m. – Post Time for 2nd day of Iowa Festival of Racing


6.07.13 Jack Van Berg in the News: Press Release - Courtesy KTVB.com

Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens is making an impact at Les Bois Park

Courtesy NBC SPORTS:

BOISE -- Thousands of miles from where he took the horsing world by storm three week ago, Caldwell native Gary Stevens is making an impact in his sport back home.

And he may not even know it.

"It gives us a jump start when he rides,” said Les Bois Park general manager Duayne Didericksen. “When he wins it really helps this intermountain arena.”

In the offices at Les Bois Park, pictures hang in Stevens’ honor, and the programs plastered with an imagine that captured the first win of his unbelievable career.

"His first race was on a thoroughbred horse here called Little Star, and it was in 1979," Didericksen explained. "I knew he'd have a lot of success," he added, "but (he's) as good as it gets."

While Gary has gone national, if you walk out to the stables behind the race track, you will notice a familiar last name. A signs hangs with Ron Stevens’ name on it. It just so happens to be Gary's bother, who owns five race horse along with his parents, that still compete in Boise.

So as Gary stares downs history once again at the Belmont Stakes tomorrow, what better place to witness it than his home track?

With that in mind, it has helped bring another famous horse racing name to Les Bois Park this weekend. Hall of Famer trainer Jack Van Berg.

"For people who don't know him, I guess the best comparison would be John Wayne in stature and magnitude,” said author, Chris Kotulak.

"When he came to town, it was like 'stop the presses, the legend has arrived."

Here to promote his book "Jack, From Grit to Glory," Van Berg’s friendship with Gary started back in the 1980s. And for a guy that knows Gary as well as anyone, he predicts the jockey’s experience could be the difference during the most grueling leg of the Triple Crown.

"I think he's got the horse under him,” Van Berg predicted. “I don't think they'll catch him, to be honest with you. If he can dictate the pace in the race," he continued, "I don't think they'll beat him."

-By Jay Tust, KTVB.COM

6.03.13 Press Release - Courtesy of TRACK MAGAZINE


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.

5.03.13 NEWS RELEASE (by Jesus Lopez-Gomez , Columbus Telegram, Columbus, NE)

Van Berg bio puts spotlight on dad

Acclaimed trainer and Columbus native Jack Van Berg -- known best for training 1987 Kentucky Derby winner Alysheba -- will be in Grand Island Saturday with copies of his new biography, “Jack: From Grit to Glory, a Lifetime of Mentoring, Dedication and Perseverance." Author Chris Kotulak will join Van Berg at Fonner Park during the horse racing meet.

CLICK HERE FOR COMPLETE STORY: http://columbustelegram.com/news/local/van-berg-bio-puts-spotlight-on-dad/article_25de4a24-580d-5a33-b271-5ac9badd8777.html

4.24.13 JACK VAN BERG IN THE NEWS - Courtesy of StallioneSearch.com

Hall Of Famer’s Julie Krone And Jack Van Berg On Hand at Lone Star Park Friday Night

GRAND PRAIRIE, TX—APRIL 24, 2013—Legendary Hall of Fame Jockey, Julie Krone and Hall of Fame Trainer, Jack Van Berg will be appearing at Lone Star Park this Friday, April 26 at 6:30 p.m. for the Inaugural Remember Me Rescue Celebrity Dinner and Fundraiser to support the aftercare of Thoroughbred race horses. The pair will also appear at a free autograph session from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

All-time winningest female jockey, Julie Krone retired from racing for the first time at Lone Star Park on April 18, 1999 after winning three races here that day. With $81 million in career winnings, Krone was inducted into the Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame in 2000. She was the first female jockey to win a Triple Crown race, the 1993 Belmont Stakes aboard Colonial Affair.

Jack Van Berg will be on hand for the a free autography session from 5 to 6 p.m Friday night at Lone Star Park. Photo Courtesy Lone Star Park
Julie Krone will host the event with keynote speaker, Maggi Moss.

Inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 1985, Jack Van Berg was leading trainer by wins nine times and won the Eclipse Award in 1984. Among his best horses were Alysheba, who won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes in 1987 and the Breeders’ Cup Classic the following year, and Gate Dancer, who won the Preakness Stakes in 1984.

Jack Van Berg will be Auctioneer for live auction items.

Autograph Session with Julie Krone and Jack Van Berg will be held beforehand from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. the inside East Grandstand entrance lobby. Van Berg will also sign copies of the book “Jack, from Grit to Glory” by Chris Kotulak, which will be available for purchase.

For more information on Remember Me Rescue or to purchase tickets to this event CLICK HERE.


4.13.2013 JVB BOOK NEWS - Oaklawn Press Release


HOT SPRINGS, AR (Thursday, April 11, 2013) - Hall of Fame trainer Jack Van Berg returns to Oaklawn Friday to meet with racing fans and sign copies of his newly-released biography “Jack: From Grit to Glory, a Lifetime of Mentoring, Dedication and Perseverance.” Copies of the book will be available for $20 and can be found with Van Berg next to the paddock anytime during Friday’s races.

Jack Van Berg was Oaklawn’s leading trainer in 1983 and ’84 and has won almost every major stakes race at the Hot Springs track.  He was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, New York in 1985, following in the footsteps of his father, Marion Van Berg, who is also enshrined as a member.

In addition to capturing stakes at Oaklawn, Van Berg has collected trophies from graded stakes wins at tracks across the country. Among his best horses were Alysheba, who won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness in 1987 and the Breeders’ Cup Classic the following year, and Gate Dancer, winner of the 1984 Preakness.

Van Berg was the leading trainer in North America by wins nine times and by earnings in 1976. He was the Eclipse Award-winning trainer in 1984 and was honored with the Big Sport of Turfdom by the Turf Publicists of America in 1987. A winner of over 6,400 races, he was recently surpassed by Steve Asmussen as the second all-time winningest trainer. Both he and Asmussen are currently behind the late Dale Baird.

He is also noted for mentoring some of the top trainers in the sport. Bill Mott, who followed Van Berg into the national Hall of Fame, and Frank Brothers are among the noteworthy assistants who got their start with him.

Van Berg will begin his time at Oaklawn as a guest at Dawn at Oaklawn at 9 a.m. Friday. The morning program, hosted by Terry Wallace, will take place on the South Apron from 8 – 9:30 a.m. It will also feature an interview with jockey Calvin Borel, complimentary coffee, pastries and barn tours.

“Jack: From Grit to Glory, a Lifetime of Mentoring, Dedication and Perseverance” was written by longtime racing personality Chris Kotulak, who has worked as a track announcer, TVG analyst and is currently full-time at Remington Park. He will also be at Oaklawn Friday.

- Jennifer Hoyt