Just like in 2018, the first two races for 2-year-olds of the current Quarter Horse meet at Los Alamitos went to horses owned by Reliance Ranches LLC and trained by Mike Robbins.
The Oklahoma-based operation won the season’s first two races for juveniles here on Friday night after Dreams Divine and Invader posted convincing victories in their respective debuts. It was a similar start for Reliance Ranches and Robbins to the one they enjoyed last year when Conquering Marie and SC Coronada won the juvenile division’s first two races at Los Alamitos.
Dreams Divine, a filly by Apollitical Jess and out of the stakes winning mare Answer The Dream, ran lights out in her debut, as she broke sharply from post number five on the way to a half-length victory in a 300-yard time of :15.723. Two races later, the Tres Seis gelding Invader scored a ¾ length vin in a time of :15.727.
“These are the fourth or fifth babies that we’ve started and won this year,” Robbins said. “We’ve done well at Remington Park. We have a really good set of young horses. Dreams Divine looked good. I’m really pleased.”
Making his first riding appearance ever at Los Alamitos, 19-year-old jockey Ruben Castro piloted both Dreams Divine and Invader to victories.
“She did exactly how we were expecting,” Castro said. “She’s come along great since the ranch. It’s exciting. I’m 19-years-old from Garden City, Kansas. I started riding when I was 14. This is the first major barn that I’ve been riding for so I’m excited for this great opportunity. It’s a great experience. There’s a lot more to learn than just riding. There’s a lot more to it, especially with a barn like this and a trainer like Mike. They want to help you out. They want you to do well.”
Robbins was happy to see the young pilot enjoy a successful evening.
“He’ a good listener,” he said. “He’s a good kid. He works hard and he listens.”