Updated on 04/20/2017 1:48PM

Former trainer Tim Van Berg dies at 59


Tim Van Berg, the son and former assistant of Hall of Fame trainer Jack Van Berg, was found dead in his sleep at his California home early Wednesday. He was 59.

Tim Van Berg was a top assistant to his father in the 1980s and ‘90s. “Tim would run the shed at Santa Anita when Dad had a string at Hollywood Park or Del Mar,” said his brother, Tom Van Berg.

Tim Van Berg briefly trained on his own, winning with 14 of 78 starters from 1998 to 2002. He eventually left the racing business and was a co-owner of an automotive shop at the time of his death, said his brother.

Tim was one of the five children of Jack Van Berg, who in recent years shifted his training base from the West Coast to a circuit consisting of Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark., and Kentucky for the rest of the year. Tom Van Berg said his father had not yet departed Arkansas when learning of his son’s death.

Visitation will be held from 5-7 p.m. Central on Wednesday at Caruth-Hale Funeral Home in Hot Springs, with the funeral at 2 p.m. on Thursday.

Tim Van Berg is survived by his wife, a son, and a stepson.