Valiente Captures Butler Handicap to Remain Undefeated in 26-Goal Play
In the second consecutive 26-goal final, Valiente defeated Colorado on the Engel & Volkers Field at the International Polo Club Palm Beach to improve to an undefeated 4-0 in 26-goal play and claim the Butler Handicap title.
Colorado put forth a stronger effort in the second meeting between the two Jornayvaz teams, but after a first half that saw them hold a two goal lead, it was the elite play of Adolfo Cambiaso and Facundo Pieres that were an unstoppable force in the second half for Valiente. An adjustment for Valiente in the final three chukkas saw Cambiaso provided with more space to initiate their attacks and he was able to take full advantage. Generating his own offence along with fellow ten-goaler Pieres, Valiente ran away with the game for the second straight final victory over Colorado.
Utilizing their one goal on handicap, Colorado built on their lead as Diego Cavanagh and Magoo Laprida both scored early goals in the first chukka, while Valiente’s dynamic duo responded with one goal each. After a back and forth opening two chukkas, Colorado won the third chukka 2-0 behind effective passing from Diego Cavanagh in open play and on a penalty 5. Magoo Laprida scored his third goal of the game as he was able to consistently finish in front of the goal, resulting in a slim 6-4 lead heading into halftime as Colorado was looking for a different result from their loss in the C.V. Whitney final.
The momentum of the game abruptly changed to begin the second half as Valiente scored six consecutive goals to turn a two-goal deficit into a four-goal advantage as Colorado failed to score in both the fourth and fifth chukkas, shooting at goal just once. Pieres took over the scoresheet in the fourth chukka, shooting a perfect 2 for 2 from the field and converting his single penalty attempt in the game. The strong second half from Valiente was in part due to the active work of Tommy Beresford in breaking up the Colorado attack, constantly pressuring Cavanagh and Britos on the ball. The quick counter-attack from Cambiaso and Pieres provided difficulties for Colorado in the second half, as there were few fouls in the game to slow the Valiente attack. An evenly played final chukka that saw Valiente’s Cambiaso score two more goals, sealed the convincing 11-8 victory as Valiente shot an efficient 10 for 14 in the game to remain undefeated. Earlier in the day, The Daily Racing Form-DRF Bets put on an offensive display to defeat a 23-goal line-up from Grand Champions Polo Club to win the subsidiary final of the Butler Handicap 16-10.
The first Iglehart Cup semi-final saw La Indiana play a complete team game to defeat Goose Creek 9-6 and advance to Thursday’s Iglehart Cup final. In one of his best performances of the year, Jeff Hall directed the La Indiana offense that used effective passing to start their attacks. Coming into the game with a 2-0 record, Goose Creek was unable to find their rhythm offensively as they were left chasing their opponents throughout the game.
La Indiana was relentless right from the opening chukka as they scored four goals, three of which coming off the mallet of Hall. Finding themselves trailing early, Goose Creek was unable to reduce the deficit as they were held scoreless in the second and third chukkas, with Mariano Gonzalez kept off the penalty line. The attack of La Indiana continued in the second half as they shot at goal six times in the fourth chukka alone but were only able to convert one shot, giving Goose Creek hope as they were held to their third straight scoreless chukka. Goose Creek finally found the scoresheet as two La Indiana fouls resulted in two penalty goals for Goose Creek but La Indiana had built up a large enough lead that time was running out with just one chukka remaining. Outshooting Goose Creek 18-9, La Indiana’s balanced team effort was too much in the game as they held a six-goal lead with time expiring as three late goals from Goose Creek wasn’t enough. La Indiana’s Victorino Ruiz Jorba led his team with five goals as they await the winner of Monday’s Iglehart Cup semi-final between Coca-Cola and Pilot.