Forever Together, whose bid for a third consecutive
win in the Grade 1 Diana was narrowly thwarted by Proviso and Shared Account on
Saturday, was doing well Sunday morning though her connections suspected she
was suffering from some wounded pride.
“I didn’t come back to the barn right away after the race
because I had a runner in at Penn National and wanted to watch the race, but
apparently she was very difficult to handle coming back,” said her Hall of Fame
trainer Jonathan Sheppard.
Forever Together’s most recent win came in the 2009
Diana. In six starts since, she has three second-place finishes and three
third-place finishes and has not been beaten more than 1 ½ lengths.
“It’s harder, I think [to lose by such narrow margins],
because you feel it was so close and within reach,” said Sheppard. “When you
get beat fair and square, you say you got beat by a better horse, but this way
you say well, ‘if we’d laid a bit closer,’ or ‘if we hadn’t come out behind
those horses at the top of the stretch.’
“She seems about as good as she’s always been and I know you
can say she hasn’t won a race in a year, but she won the Diana last year by a
head and she lost by a head this year, so that’s not a very big difference.”
Sheppard said the ultimate goal for Forever Together would
remain the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf, and that she would likely make
two starts between now and then, though he had not picked out the spots yet.
“We’re not complaining as long as she’s showing up and
running well in tough company,” Sheppard added.