Casablanca (Gene Goldstein, Grant Ganzi, Juancito Bollini and Julio Arellano) took advantage of two goals by handicap from the 15-goal Flexjet lineup (Melissa Ganzi, Wes Finlayson, Juan Bollini and Tom de Bruin) and never trailed in the final of the Power Horse Invitational on Sunday morning at the Grand Champions Polo Club.
Although the pace was fast and the teamwork was efficient, no goals were scored from the field in the opening chukker of the game. Casablanca boasted a 2-0 lead on the strength of the two goals conceded to them by handicap.
Flexjet opened the second period with a goal from the field from Wes Finlayson in the opening 30 seconds of play, 2-1. Juancito Bollini added a goal for Casablanca a minute later to regain the two goal lead, 3-1. A Casablanca foul sent Flexjet 7-goaler Tom de Bruin to the penalty line at the 3:22 mark where he converted a 30-yard shot for a goal, and a goal from Flexjet team captain, Melissa Ganzi had it all even at 3-3 with 2:28 on the clock. Gene Goldstein scored the final goal of the chukker, allowing Casablanca to ride off the field at the end of the second period with a 6-5 advantage.
Melissa Ganzi tied the game at 4-4 in the opening minutes of the third chukker. Grant Ganzi converted a 30-yard penalty shot that put Casablanca back into the lead, 5-4, with three minutes left in the period. Finlayson blasted a pass to de Bruin for a tying goal, 5-5, but with time running down on the clock, Casablanca continued to press their attack. A final assault on the Flexjet goal resulted in a score from Grant Ganzi, giving Casablanca a narrow 6-5 halftime lead.
Adjustments were made by both teams during the halftime intermission but goals were scarce. Goldstein scored the only goal of the chukker with 5:12 on the clock as both sides blew scoring opportunities. After four chukkers it was Casablanca on top of a 7-5 score.
The Casablanca attack continued to pressure the Flexjet defenders into the fifth period, with Grant Ganzi scoring his third goal of the game for an 8-5, three goal lead. Three minutes later, Goldstein added another goal while the Casablanca defense held Flexjet scoreless and moved in front, 9-5.
Casablanca continues to pour it on in the sixth chukker, with Julio Arellano scoring his first goal of the day in the opening minute of action. Melissa Ganzi scored two minutes later, 10-6, and Juan Bollini added a goal at the 3:03 mark, but the game belonged to Casablanca as they rode out the final minutes of the match for the 10-7 victory.
Grant Ganzi and Goldstein scored three goals apiece for Casablanca. Juancito Bollini and Arellano each added a goal and the team received two goals by handicap. Melissa Ganzi’s three goals let the Flexjet team. De Bruin scored twice and Juan Bollini and Finlayson each scored a goal in the loss.
Gene Goldstein was named MVP for his efforts with Halo Polo’s nine-year-old Dark Bay mare, Prada, honored as Best Playing Pony.
PW Inv Valiente Podio
Valiente 12, Dutta Corp. 8
Dutta Corp. (Tim Dutta, Piki Alberdi, Timmy Dutta and Jason Crowder) received three goals by handicap from the 15-goal Valiente team (Bautista Panelo, Marc Ganzi, Santi Torres and Pablo Spinacci) Sunday afternoon as the two teams faced-off against one another at the Valiente Polo Farm in a consolation match of the 2016 Power Horse Invitational.
Valiente went right to work picking up single goals from Santi Torres and Marc Ganzi in the opening two minutes of the first chukker to cut the lead to 3-2. Pablo Spinacci tied the game at 3-3 at the 1:40 mark, and Ganzi’s second goal of the chukker came with less than a minute on the clock to give Valiente the 4-3 advantage at the end of the period.
A scoreless second chukker was followed by a tying goal from Timmy Dutta in the opening minute of the third, 4-4. Spinacci responded with a goal that gave the lead back to Valiente, 5-4. A second goal from Timmy Dutta and a penalty conversion from teammate Piki Alberdi ended the chukker with Duta Corp. in the lead at the end of the first half, 6-5.
Valiente fought back in the fourth chukker, combining shutout defense with goals from Ganzi and Torres. After four periods of play the 7-6 lead belonged to Valiente.
Spinacci scored two more goals in the fifth period, the first on a 60-yard penalty shot and the second from the field. For the fourth time in five chukkers, Dutta Corp. was unable to score, falling behind by three goals, 9-6.
Spinacci scored his fifth and sixth goals of the game in the opening minute of the sixth period, 11-6, with Dutta Corp. being unable to stop him. Alberdi added a goal at the 5:38 mark, but the 11-7 lead still belonged to Valiente. Ganzi converted a 60-yard penalty shot with just 1:22 on the clock, 12-7, with Jason Crowder scoring the final goal of the game for Dutta Corp. in a 12-8 Valiente victory.
Spinacci led all scoring with six goals and was named MVP for his efforts. Ganzi added four goals and Torres scored twice for the win. Timmy Dutta and Alberdi each scored twice for Dutta Corp. Crowder added a goal and the team received three goals by handicap.
Dolfina Broomlita, a five-year-old Dark Bay Thoroughbred mare was honored as Best Playing Pony.
By Alex Webbe