Breeder: John Toffen and Trudy McCaffery
Trainer: Poco Gonzalez
Sire: Gone West
Dam: Nice Assay
Three times, they tried to sell him. Three times he came home. That, is how the speedy son of Gone West got his name.
In his first stakes start, the Hollywood Juvenile Came Home led all the way and won by four lengths, setting brisk fractions. His next start was at Saratoga in the Hopeful Stakes, where he outran record-breaker Mayakovosky to win by two lengths.
"He ran super today, he was very professional. I wasn't concerned when Jorge (Chavez aboard Roman Dancer) came up inside on the backstretch because he was one of the longest shots in the field. I was concerned with Mayakovsky," said his jockey Chris McCarron.
Came Home was next aiming for the Norfolk Stakes at Santa Anita, but was scratched on race day. He next went on to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile lacking an extra prep, and finished seventh after fighting Officer for an early lead.
After his Juvenile effort, Came Home returned to win the San Vincente, and then smashing the field in the San Rafael.
With his last two wins, all eyes were on Came Home as he faced an old rival, Gotham Stakes winner Mayakovosky in the Santa Anita Derby. Came Home didn't seem to realize the big moment he was preparing for however, just days before the race casting himself in his stall and coming down with a mild fever.
Came Home broke sharply, but was bumped by Mayakovosky and cut off by Danthebluegrassman.
As Mayakovosky rounded the second bend, MCarron asked for a little more and Came Home's responce was only average. Easy Grades moved up and tackled Came Home on the outside. Mayakovosky quickly began to tire, his distance limitations showing up. Easy Grade stuck in neck front of Came Home, before the fire began to burn. Came Home lowered his head and fought back. He was in front passing the eight pole, where some at said he would quit, and held off Easy Grades to win. From there it was off to Kentucky.
In the Kentucky Derby Came Home stalked the pace, but never accelerated in the stretch and was sixth, beaten by over 14 lengths, earning a reputation as "Gone West's talented miler." Came Home did not agree.
Came Home's next start was the $100,000 Affirmed Handicap. Came Home was the easy winner, giving jockey Chris McCarron a memorable last ride before retirment.
Mike Smith replaced Chris McCarron as Came Home's jockey, guiding the colt to a 1 1/4 length victory over Like A Hero under a hand ride. Came Home covered the nine furlongs in 1:48.28 after a mile clocking in 1:35.38.
Paco Gonzalez considered running Came Home in the Haskell Invitational, but decided not to run him so soon. Instead he suprised everyone by announcing that Came Home would run in the $1,000,000 Pacific Cup Classic, 1 1/4 mile race. He would not only be facing older horses for the first time, he would have to outrun War Emblem, the winner of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Haskell.
The handicappers all wrote Came Home off, giving him early odds of 15-1. He would be breaking out of an outside post "outside the real speed."
Unfortunetly, someone forgot to tell Came Home about his "distance limitations". The colt stalked the pace early, and took the lead in the stretch, holding off a late charge from Momentum to win by 3/4 of a length. That was his way of telling the handicappers "Distance limittations? What distance limitations?"
War Emblem finsihed sixth.