Kotulak to Have Book Signing at Ruidoso

Author to sign copies of Jack Van Berg biography.

August 24, 2013

Ruidoso Downs Race Track Logo

Author Chris Kotulak will be at Ruidoso Downs on Friday to sign his recent release “JACK From Grit To Glory,” a biography of Thoroughbred hall of fame trainer Jack Van Berg.

The signing will be in front of the gift shop from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The most notable horse trained by Van Berg was the Thoroughbred Alysheba who won the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Breeders’ Cup Classic and was named the 1988 Horse of the Year. He retired with a record $6,679,242 in earnings.

Alysheba’s owners Dorothy and Pam Schaubauer of Midland, Texas have a strong connection to Ruidoso Downs. Dorothy’s husband and Pam’s father, Clarence, have campaigned many great horses at Ruidoso Downs since the 1950s and won the first Rainbow Futurity with Double Queen in 1964. Clarence Scharbauer is a member of the Ruidoso Downs Racehorse Hall of Fame.

Van Berg’s connection to Quarter Horse racing comes through his close friend, American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame trainer Blane Schvaneveldt. Van Berg often visited Los Alamitos when Schvaneveldt had a horse running in a major stakes race. They would laugh, hold court, tell stories (probably with some exaggeration) and people would quip: “They’ve forgotten more about racehorses than everyone else has learned.”

Kotulak is familiar to horse racing fans through his work with the horse racing television network TVG as an on-air personality. His horse racing history goes back to his teenaged years when he worked on the backside at Ak-Sar-Ben, the track at which Van Berg won 19 straight training titles. Kotulak now works at Remington Park and this is his first book.

“I’ve always looked forward to coming to Ruidoso for work or just as a fan. It’s a special place,” said Kotulak. “I have a lot of friends there and am anxious to visit with them again.”