02/13/2008 12:00AM

Forever Together drops to find confidence


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Eleven months ago, Forever Together was being touted as a rising star in the 3-year-old filly division after registering her third victory in as many starts in Gulfstream Park's Grade 2 Forward Gal Stakes. Forever Together has not won since, prompting trainer Jonathan Sheppard to drop her into allowance company on Friday for what he hopes will be a confidence builder.

Forever Together is one of five stakes winners in a field of seven fillies and mares who will vie for a $52,000 purse in Friday's fifth race at Gulfstream. The seven-furlong dash is one of three third-level optional claiming events on an outstanding nine-race program.

Forever Together defeated Silver Knockers by two lengths in the 2007 Forward Gal. She suffered her first setback when beaten a neck five weeks later in the Grade 2 Beaumont at Keeneland, then lost her three subsequent starts, closing out her 3-year-old campaign finishing fifth behind Cheri Ami in Calder's Chaposa Springs Handicap on Dec. 29.

Forever Together has worked sharply for her return to Gulfstream Park, posting three bullet works over the track, including five furlongs in 59.20 seconds on Feb. 11.

Featherbed, who won a restricted stakes for trainer Todd Pletcher last summer at Saratoga, may be the horse to beat coming off a second-place finish following an eventful start going six furlongs under similar allowance conditions on Jan. 19.

The other stakes winners in the field are Five Star Daydream, Girls Pearls, and Casa Mimaty.

Friday's third race, to be run at nine furlongs for a $52,500 purse, will feature Actin Good's return to dirt following a failed turf experiment on Jan. 31. Actin Good, winner of Monmouth Park's Grade 3 Pegasus on Breeders' Cup weekend, finished third behind Chatain in the Grade 3 Hal's Hope Handicap going a mile here earlier in the meet.

Actin Good's top competition figures to be provided by recent allowance winner Deputy Indy and the multiple stakes winner A.J. Melini.

Also on Friday's card is a $54,500 optional claiming race for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles on the turf. Sheppard could be prominent in this race as well, with the European listed stakes winner Cliffrose.

The field also includes Take the Ribbon, who makes her first start since finishing fourth in the Grade 1 John C. Mabee Handicap at Del Mar on Aug. 4, and first for trainer Barclay Tagg.