Could a space faring race rise from the age of the dinosaurs? I like the possibility.
It has lots of darwinistic support; a dangerous age where intelligence, dexterity and tool-use would provide significant survival advantages.
They wouldn't be from the top of the food chain. Not the T-Rex level predators. They would probably be on the small side with a slower metabolism, capable of out-waiting their aggressors. It wasn't the sabre-tooths that became smart. It was the monkeys who could climb out of reach then out-wait the hungry cats. (Why is may housecat glaring at me as I write this?)
They would not just have been smart enough to avoid falling into bogs, they would have lured other dinosaurs to a muddy death. This greatly contributed to our current misconsception about how abundant enormous predators were back then.
The issue of why they haven't been back bugs me though. As you say, pleasant worlds are rare as hell. I would postulate instead that they did come back many millions of years ago. When they got here, they found the planet miserably cold by their standards. So instead of moving in, they tinkered with the genetics of the then indiginous primates. Yes, Adam and Eve were lizards!
After seeding our world with future partners in sentience, they took a few samples back to their new homeworld as a method for colonizing cold worlds. There aren't just dinosaurs waiting for us in the stars... we're already out there.
Why did they leave most of us behind? Because we were boring by their standards. We were just mastering fire and thought that using a stick as a club was high tech. Only one cultural anthropologist stuck around to watch the show of our becoming civilized. She's currently swimming around in Loch Ness in a biological plesiosaur suit that functions like thermal underwear. Until the last century or so, she was bored to tears.
Now she's successfully syndicating her observations over sub-space as the galaxy's most ludicrous situational comedy.
By the way, they are immortal. Compared to interstellar travel and terraforming, life extension is a breeze. Besides, with lightspeed still a distant myth, space exploration takes a long life and a lot of patience. Sub-space sit-coms are big business among the travelers.
Have they colonized the whole galaxy? Not even close. 65 million years is not really that long and relativity is a bitch. Yes, they already own every pleasant planet in our galactic arm and they've colonized the core. Fortunately for us their definition of pleasant is different from ours. Unfortunately, our cimian star-brothers like our kinds of planets and they've already claimed most of the good ones.
A few human-friendly cold worlds have deliberately been left uncolonized in the solar systems closest to our Sol. These planets are waiting for us as soon as we figure out how to get to them. Don't think that this was done because the star dinosaurs are generous. They aren't. Nessy bought them in the hopes that we will create some spinoffs for her best selling subspace comedy.