If Came Home wins Saturday's $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic, he deserves to be Horse of the Year.
That's the firm opinion of John Toffan, who owns the Gone West colt along with Trudy McCaffery, John Goodman and Will Farish.
"I don't think there's any doubt about it," Toffan said. "If he wins the Classic, he's going to be Horse of the Year. Who else could you vote for? There's nobody else. If he wins, I don't think it's going to be any contest."
Toffan said it hasn't been an issue of Came Home getting respect from the media, which has been inclined to dispute the colt's ability to win at the classic 1 1/4-mile distance. Came Home did just that in the Pacific Classic, defeating Kentucky Derby winner War Emblem and older horses in the process.
"It's not a matter of getting respect," Toffan said. "The media got hung up on him not being able to win at a mile and a quarter. They started something and they had to write about it. They're still doing it. The Kentucky Derby wasn't his race. But the writers said he couldn't win at that distance, so they had to support what they said, hoping he was going to screw up somewhere down the line. Then they could say, 'I told you so.'"
Toffan said Came Home, winner of nine of 11 races and $1,835,940 in earnings, was all the rage with prospective breeders at the recent Kentucky sales.
"They were only talking about one horse, and that was Came Home," Toffan said. "Of the new stallions, he's the horse everyone wants to breed to. Any horse that wins nine of 11 and eight graded stakes and has speed . . . I mean, who would you want to breed to?"