07/25/2008 11:00PM

Forever Together scores in Diana


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Forever Together began her career with eight starts on the dirt that included a Grade 2 win at 3. But Forever Together left little doubt her future lies strictly on the turf after rallying from last to a three-quarter-length decision over Dynaforce in Saturday's $500,000 Diana at Saratoga.

By winning the Diana, part of the Breeders' Cup Challenge Win and You're In series, Forever Together earned a guaranteed starting berth in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf on Oct. 24.

The fact that it took Forever Together so long even to get on the grass comes as a bit of a surprise, since she is owned by the Augustin Stables and trained by Jonathan Sheppard. The combination is known for its prowess with turf horses and combined to win the 1993 Diana with Ratings.

"It just seemed we had a preponderance of turf horses in the barn," said Sheppard, "and when we find one who does so well on dirt - she did win a Grade 2 on the main track - it makes no sense to switch them over unless they give you a good reason to make a change. We always felt she'd like the grass and once she began running poorly on the dirt we finally decided to try her on the turf earlier this spring."

Forever Together won her grass debut in an overnight stakes at Arlington Park before finishing a troubled third at 44-1 in the Grade 1 Just a Game at Belmont. In the Diana, jockey Julien Leparoux allowed Forever Together to settle at the rear of the strong, well-matched field for five furlongs. The pair launched their rally leaving the backstretch, came wide into the stretch, then finished full of run down the middle of the course to catch Dynaforce in the final strides. Rutherienne finished another 3 1/2 lengths back in third.

Wait a While, the tepid 3-1 favorite, raced wide and finished a tiring seventh.

Dynaforce is trained by Bill Mott, who had won the previous three runnings of the Grade 1 Diana.

Forever Together covered 1 1/8 miles in 1:46.52 over a good course and paid $20.