11/02/2009 12:00AM

Private works for Forever Together

Email

ARCADIA, Calif. - Compared with most of the American-based runners for the Breeders' Cup, Forever Together has had somewhat private preparations in recent weeks.

The defending champion of the Filly and Mare Turf, Forever Together had an Oct. 25 workout on trainer Jonathan Sheppard's farm in Pennsylvania and a workout at Keeneland on Sunday. Neither received an official time, but Sheppard timed Forever Together in 1:00 on Sunday.

"She went off slowly, the first eighth in 13 seconds, and each eighth was faster than the previous one," Sheppard said.

Sheppard waited two weeks after Forever Together finished third in the First Lady Stakes at Keeneland on Oct. 10 before giving her a workout on his Pennsylvania farm. He said Sunday's workout was not published because Keeneland did not have a staff of clockers available.

Forever Together is expected to be favored in the Filly and Mare Turf, especially if Dar Re Mi defects to the Turf and Rainbow View tries the Ladies' Classic. Those fillies are trained by John Gosden.

Without those two, the Filly and Mare Turf may have only eight starters - Dynaforce, Forever Together, Magical Fantasy, Maram, Midday, Pure Clan, Rutherienne, and Visit.

Forever Together has won 2 of 5 starts and $600,106 this year for George Strawbridge. Both wins came in stakes, the Grade 2 Jenny Wiley Stakes at Keeneland and the Grade 1 Diana Handicap at Saratoga. She has lost her last two starts, a nose defeat to Princess Haya in the Grade 2 Canadian Stakes at Woodbine on Sept. 20 and a third in the Grade 1 First Lady Stakes over soft turf.

Sheppard said the soft turf at Keeneland hampered Forever Together's rally when she finished 1 1/2 lengths behind Diamondrella. A firm turf course in California on Friday will be appreciated, he said. Last year, Forever Together closed from eighth in a field of 10 in the final furlong to win by three-quarters of a length.

"I think what sets her apart is she has such tremendous acceleration, and it's hard to use that on soft ground," Sheppard said. "She could work in 57. She's one of the few mile and a quarter turf horses that can."