02/19/2010 12:00AM

Forever Together not done racing


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - There was a spring in the step of trainer Jonathan Sheppard in the Gulfstream Park stable area on Friday morning.

Perhaps he was fresh, fit, and dangerous following a visit to see the horses he has who are wintering in South Carolina. Perhaps it was the unseasonably cold weather here, which made everyone snap to attention. More likely, though, it was the news he recently received from owner George Strawbridge, who has decided to keep Forever Together, the 2008 Eclipse Award-winning female turf horse, in training for another year.

Forever Together, 6, won the 2008 Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf, then finished third in the race last November in what was expected to be her final start before heading to the breeding shed.

"It was announced that the Breeders' Cup was going be her final race, but Mr. Strawbridge changed his mind," Sheppard said. "And I was certainly not going to argue. I'd much rather have her race than stand around in a field being a broodmare. She's perfectly sound, and she can still run against the best."

Sheppard has a deep pool of older females. Informed Decision, his Eclipse Award-winning female sprinter from last year, is remaining in training. And new to his barn are the accomplished European imports Rainbow View, who raced twice in North America last year while still in the care of British-based John Gosden, and Fantasia.

"I've got four pretty nice fillies," he said.