Updated on 09/16/2011 7:39AM

McCarron retires a winner on Came Home


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Came Home sent Hall of Fame jockey Chris McCarron into retirement with a frontrunning win in Sunday's $107,500 at Hollywood Park.

McCarron announced his retirement on June 15 and rode his final program on Sunday. Came Home was his final mount.

McCarron hit the finish line to a tremendous reception from the on-track crowd of 16,850, many of whom bought tickets on Came Home, who returned $2.80.

The 124-pound highweight, Came Home was making his first start since finishing sixth in the Kentucky Derby on May 4.

Breaking from post 3, Came Home dueled with Kamsack through an opening quarter-mile of 24.46 seconds before taking over on the backstretch. McCarron had Came Home in front by a half-length to the final turn when he bumped with True Phenomenon, who was ridden by Patrick Valenzuela.

"At the three-eighths pole, Pat's horse and Came Home touched slightly," McCarron said. "We went from being a head in front to being a half-length in front in a stride. I couldn't believe the acceleration."

Came Home had a two-length lead over Tracemark in mid-stretch and won by that margin, finishing 1 1/16 miles in 1:41.99.

"I know it's a handicap and he's got 124 pounds on him, but I wasn't thinking of just trying to win by a little bit," McCarron said. "I wanted him to go on with it."

Tracemark finished second, followed by Calkins Road, Kamsack, Fonz's and True Phenomenon.

The win in the Affirmed Handicap for 3-year-olds gave Came Home his sixth stakes win from nine starts and earnings of $935,940. He is trained by Paco Gonzalez and owned by a partnership.

"I run horses in million dollar races and today I was more nervous than any other race, believe me," Gonzalez said. "I wanted Chris to go out winning."