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Marion Van Berg

Marion Van Berg
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   Born on Jan. 15, 1896 at Aurora, Neb., Marion Van Berg enjoyed a lifetime of success in Thoroughbred racing. A trainer and owner, Van Berg was the nation’s leading owner in victories 14 times, including 11 in a row from 1960-1970. He was also the leading money-winning owner four times (1965, 1968-1970).

  A livestock dealer and farmer in his home state of Nebraska, Van Berg started training in the 1930s with C.A. Tanner. In 1945, Van Berg took over the training of his Thoroughbreds until the mid-1960s when his son, future Hall of Famer Jack Van Berg, and his assistant, Bob Irwin, began to train for him.

  Van Berg made his reputation and fortune with claiming horses. He primarily raced in the Midwest and firmly believed in not racing horses above their class. Among his top runners were Rose Bed, Knights Reward, Rose’s Gem, Estacion, Spring Broker and Grand Stand.

  Van Berg was the trainer of record of almost 1,500 winners and he won 4,691 races and $13,936,965 as an owner, and his horses won at a 21-percent clip. He was the first inductee of the Nebraska Racing Hall of Fame.

  Marion Van Berg was inducted into the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame in 1970.