angle-left Golden State Derby

Golden State Derby

Conquering Marie upsets Sunday's Grade 2 feature at Los Alamitos.
text size

Sent to post at odds of 38-1, eighth-fastest qualifier Conquering Marie earned her first stakes victory in Sunday's 211,100 Golden State Derby (G2) at Los Alamitos.

Conquering Marie covered 400 yards in :19.660, and her winning margin was a head from Bail Czech. Ruben Castro rode the homebred Coronado Cartel filly for owner Reliance Ranches LLC and trainer Mike Robbins.

Conquering Marie broke sharply from Post 3, enabling her to avoid the trouble faced by several other rivals after Delayed Steal veered in after leaving the gate from Post 8. The trouble affected fastest qualifier and 3-5 favorite Chocolatito. After a stewards' inquiry, Delayed Steal was disqualified from sixth and placed ninth and last.

“There was some commotion (behind me), but I am glad that I avoided it because I don’t know if we would have come up with this win,” Castro said. “There were some tough horses in there, but I had faith in my filly. She was coming back better than in the trials. I knew she had more.

"Halfway through the race I could see two heads bobbing," the rider added. "There was one right next to me (Favorite Motion), and then the outside horse (Bail Czech). We were going head to head to the wire. I didn’t know if we had gotten the win.”

Conquering Marie's victory marked the first graded stakes win for Castro, 20, a native of Kansas.  

“On November 11, 2018, I showed up at Reliance’s barn in Guthrie, Oklahoma asking for some work and hoping to gallop horses in the winter,” Castro said. “I never expected to get the opportunity to ride these kind of horses for these kind of owners.

"As the winter went through I guess they liked my riding," he added. "Mike (Robbins) asked me in February before these horses got shipped out here if I would come out and ride for him at Los Alamitos. That sounded good to me and I said, ‘Let’s go.’ Ever since then he’s kept his word and he’s kept me on the horses. We’ve done some good.”

Raced in California, New Mexico, and Oklahoma, Conquering Marie has won four of 13 races and has earned $124,193. The filly's record includes a third-place finish in the June 29, 400-yard Adequan Ruidoso Derby Challenge at Ruidoso Downs.

Favorite Motion, Jess Motions, Chocolatito, Ali Babe Foose, Golden Boy Gonza, Purty Fancy Dude, and Delayed Steal completed the official order of finish.

Parsons Family Limited Partnership’s Terrific First Down, the second-fastest qualifier, was scratched after undergoing colic surgery last week.

AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHA Racing on Twitter, "like" Q-Racing on Facebook, and visit www.aqha.com/racing.