John Charles "Jack" Van Berg
John Charles "Jack" Van Berg (born June 7, 1936 in Columbus, Nebraska) is an American Hall of Fame horse trainer. Born into a horse racing family, his father is Hall of Fame trainer, Marion Van Berg. For nineteen straight years between 1959 and 1977, Jack 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 U.S. 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 July 15, 1987 Jack Van Berg became the first trainer to win 5,000 races, and by the end of September 2008, he ranked second all-time in career wins among American Thoroughbred trainers. Jack Van Berg is best known for training Alysheba who won the 1987 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes and the 1988 Breeders' Cup Classic. He has mentored many top trainers, including Hall of Famer Bill Mott and Frank Brothers, both of whom started off as assistants to Van Berg.