La Dolfina Cruises to Tortugas Open Final Victory
By Darlene Ricker
Defending champion La Dolfina Sancor Seguros did what they have done so many times before in Argentine Triple Crown tournaments, dashing a strong effort by archrival Ellerstina with a 18-12 victory in the final of the 2016 Tortugas Open at Tortugas Country Club on Sunday. It marked the fourth consecutive time La Dolfina has ridden home with the Tortugas title.
As usual, Adolfo Cambiaso stole the show in just about every way possible. High-scorer of the day with 11 goals, he was named MVP of the final. One of his Cuartetera clones, “B06,” was named Best-Playing Pony and was also honored as Best Polo Argentino-bred by the Argentine Polo Pony Breeders Association. It was the first time a clone had taken top honors in a major high-goal tournament.
Cambiaso seemed even more excited about his horse’s performance than his own. He wasted no time in sharing the news with Alan Meeker, his partner in the Crestview Genetics cloning operation. Even before he left the field, he was on the phone to Meeker in the United States, who could hear the crowd in the background cheering about B06.
“Alan, we made history!” shouted Cambiaso. When Meeker offered congratulations, Cambiaso laughed. “All I did was believe in you and your crazy idea [about cloning]!”
Facundo Pieres did not make it easy for Cambiaso, however. He challenged Cambiaso’s dominance at every turn, almost matching The Master’s scoring streak with 10 goals of his own. Ellerstina held their own through the fourth chukka, trailing by only one goal (11-10) at the top of the fifth. From there on, however, La Dolfina was a storm that couldn’t be stopped. They kept Ellerstina scoreless in the sixth chukka and forged ahead to take the victory with a decisive six-goal spread.
Now La Dolfina’s eyes are set on the 2016 Hurlingham Open, which begins 18 October with a double-header. On Tuesday La Dolfina will compete against Cria Yatay (bolstered by two Lapridas), and in the second game the Novillo Astradas’ La Aguada/Las Monjitas team goes head-to-head with El Paraiso.
A victory for La Dolfina in Hurlingham, followed by one in Palermo, would mean a record-breaking fourth consecutive Triple Crown win. Shattering records, of course, is not a new concept to La Dolfina. Last year they set the current record, with a third consecutive Triple Crown title. Now all they have to do is beat themselves.