Gary Barber and Team Valor Stable's Delta Form will arrive at Belmont Park Sept. 22 to run in the Turf Classic Invitational (gr. IT) on Sept. 29. The weight-for-age Turf Classic, at 1 1/2 miles on the turf will be televised live by NBC (4:30 p.m EDT).
"This horse was bred in Australia, but spent a lot of his career in South Africa," said Team Valor's Barry Irwin of the 6-year-old Marscay gelding. "He turned things around when he went to a trainer named Michael De Kock, and he won four in a row for him, including the Summer Handicap, which was the largest purse ever in South Africa ($255,000)."
After the Summer Handicap at Turffontein, Delta Form was sent to California and trainer Jenine Sahadi.
"When you ship from South Africa, you have two choices: go into quarantine for two months there, then ship to another country and do twomonths, or do two months in this country in the stall only," Irwin said. "When he came out, he looked terrible; I will never do that again. It took us a few months to get him back."
Unraced since the Summer Handicap on Nov. 25, 2000, Delta Form returned in a restricted race at Del Mar and ran fourth. He then came back to win another restricted race in October of 2001, but then developed a sinus infection and pneumonia, which nearly cost him his life.
Delta Form returned to the races in July, running fourth, then was beaten a length in an optional claiming event. On Sept. 1, Delta Form broke new ground when he won the Del Mar Handicap (gr. IIT) by a neck over The Tin Man at odds of better than 20-1.
"He'll work twice more on the grass in California, probably on Saturday and then next Thursday," Irwin said.
Delta Form is owned in part by South African native Gary Barber, co-chairman and CEO of Spyglass Entertainment. Barber and his partner, Roger Birnbaum, founded Spyglass and its first major motion picture release, The
Sixth Sense, made $661 million, worldwide. Spyglass has also released such films as The Insider and Reign of Fire.