Duchessa has been in the Darrell Vienna barn about three weeks since arriving from overseas, where the English-bred mare last raced at Longchamps, emerging with a length-and-a-quarter victory at seven furlongs on turf April 21.
Dutchessa makes her U.S. debut in Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 Royal Heroine Stakes at one mile on turf for fillies three and up.
“She seems to have acclimated well,” said Vienna’s son and assistant, Cris. “She traveled well from Europe and her form there was good.”
Owned by long-time Vienna client Jed Cohen of Los Angeles, who races as Red Baron’s Barn, LLC, Dutchessa won five races from 21 starts across the pond.
“He’s a very loyal person,” Darrell Vienna said of Cohen, who is in the equity and investment business. “We’ve been together about 35 years.”
The field for the Royal Heroine: Stormy Lucy, Joe Talamo, 4-1; Dancingtothestars, Mario Gutierrez, 12-1; Wishing Gate, Gary Stevens, 5-1; Redressthebalance, Corey Nakatani, 30-1; Moulin de Mougin, Mike Smith, 12-1; Moone’s My Name, Victor Espinoza, 9-2; Habibi, Brice Blanc, 6-1; Dutchessa, Kent Desormeaux, 8-1; Kathleen Rose, Edwin Maldonado, 6-1; and Parranda, Elvis Trujillo, 3-1.