Client Success: Heartyconstitution Kicks Clear at Churchill


Heartyconstitution (Constitution) was back in action on May 5, 2023, at Churchill Downs in a competitive Allowance Optional Claiming race with a purse of $110,000. The four-year-old filly had only raced once in 2023, finishing first. The question on everyone’s mind was whether she could keep up her win streak.


Heartyconstitution was ridden by Tyler Gaffalione and trained by Joe Sharp.

Heartyconstitution broke well, but Gaffalione took a hold of her and settled her near the back of the pack in ninth. The pace was quick, with fractions of 22.95 seconds for the opening quarter-mile and 45.92 seconds for the half-mile.

As the field headed down the backstretch, Heartyconstitution began to make her move. Gaffalione guided her through the pack, splitting horses to move up the rail. She was fourth by three lengths at the three-quarter pole, and in the stretch, she moved into third by a half-length.

At the top of the stretch, Heartyconstitution was still behind the leaders, but Gaffalione asked her to quicken, and she responded. She split horses once again, and with a furlong to go, she was in the clear. The filly quickened once uncovered, and with a final push, she kicked clear of the field, winning by 1 3/4 lengths.

Heartyconstitution covered the one-mile distance in 1:36.29 and earned a career-best Equibase Speed Figure of 86.

Her connections were thrilled with the win, with trainer Joe Sharp saying, “She ran a great race today. Tyler gave her a great ride and was patient with her early on. She’s a talented filly, and we’re excited to see what the future holds for her.”

The filly was purchased by Shepherd Equine Advisers on behalf of Wayne Sanders and Larry Hirsch for $200,000 at the Fasig-Tipton October Yearling Sale in 2020. Since then, she has earned $191,020 in her seven starts, including three wins, two second-place finishes, and a third-place finish.

Heartyconstitution’s next race is yet to be determined, but her connections have high hopes for her future. With her impressive performance in her last race, she has shown that she has the potential to compete at a high level and could be a force to be reckoned with in the future.

As for now, the filly will continue to train and prepare for her next race, where she will look to build on her recent success and continue to show the racing world what she is capable of achieving.

Whether you are new to the game, experiencing more losses than wins or just looking for a new approach, I am confident that I can help you breed or buy a better racehorse. To find out more about OPTIMAL Matings and how they can help your program, please subscribe to my Blog/News page HERE to receive future information on complimentary mating recommendations, sales short lists, stakes winner pedigree analysis, news on personal client success and any other random thoughts or ideas that I may have. Also, receive a complimentary copy of my report “Blind Luck or Designed Luck? – How A Kentucky Derby Winner Was Bred” sent directly to your inbox.

For inquiries or more information about Shepherd Equine Advisers, please contact Clark Shepherd at 859-321-6618, or by email at

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I offer my expertise as a bloodstock agent, sales consultant, and pedigree analyst to assist in breeding or purchasing superior thoroughbred racehorses through sound pedigree principles, horsemanship, and consistent implementation of well-designed plans. To find out more about how my services can help your program, please contact me at 859-321-6618, or by email at

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