Butler Handicap

Valiente and Colorado Set-up Second Consecutive Finals Match-Up


In the second consecutive single elimination tournament of the 26-goal season, the semi-finals of the 2018 Butler Handicap produced the same two finalists as the C.V. Whitney Cup, with Valiente and Colorado victorious, setting up a rematch of last Sunday’s final.


Colorado faced off against The Daily Racing Form-DRF Bets (DRF) under wet conditions, as Colorado found themselves down 7-1 early in the game, only to fight back and dominate play in the final four chukkas behind pinpoint accurate shooting. After missing their opening four shots, Colorado would miss just one of their final 11 shots, led by the duo of Juan Britos and Diego Cavanagh who combined for 11 goals in the game.


Early foul trouble in the game for Colorado contributed to their large deficit early in the game, as DRF converted their three penalty attempts in the opening two chukkas while a fast balanced attack left Colorado on the defensive. As the rain began to come down in the 3rd chukka, Colorado’s fortunes turned as they overcame their early foul trouble and shooting woes to turn the game around. Before the end of the 3rd chukka, Colorado shrunk the deficit to three goals as they trailed 7-4 at halftime. Britos and Cavanagh began to work together offensively as they scored two goals each in the fourth chukka tying the game at 8-8. DRF was unable to generate offense late in the game as Colorado controlled possession and kept the ball in the attacking half. Three more goals from Cavanagh in the final two chukkas, bringing his total to seven in the game, pushed Colorado over the edge. Taking advantage of every opportunity in the second half, Colorado booked their place in Sunday’s final with the 13-11 victory.


Valiente continued their undefeated run in 26-goal play, utilizing their defensive proficiency to prevent the new Grand Champions line-up from generating any offense throughout the game. Adolfo Cambiaso and Facundo Pieres continued to display their new found chemistry, holding their opponents to zero field goals in the opening five chukkas. The 24-goal lineup of Grand Champions, featuring Juan Martin Nero and Alejandro Novillo Astrada was unable to generate effective scoring chances, converting just one of their eight shot attempts in the game. The defensive style of game favoured the Valiente side as Cambiaso and Pieres were effective at turning defense into offense with Pieres leading the way with five goals.


Opening up an early 4-3 lead, despite Grand Champions starting with a two goal advantage on handicap,  Valiente’s Pieres converted both his attempts on the penalty line, with Bob Jornayvaz and Tommy Beresford working hard in the front of the game to help Valiente control possession. Valiente put the game out of reach in the fourth chukka, extending their lead to 8-4 as Grand Champions only offense came via the penalty 2 line with Grant Ganzi converting both opportunities. The outcome wasn’t in doubt over the final two chukkas, as Valiente continued to limit the chances of Grand Champions and ease into the 9-6 victory to set up the finals rematch between father and son in Bob and Robert Jornayvaz.


Play continued in the Iglehart Cup, as Goose Creek moved to 2-0 with a victory over Prestige Worldwide. An open-flowing game in the first half with few fouls, Goose Creek displayed a strong offensive attack in the second half, recovering from a one-goal deficit to run away with the 11-6 victory. After just one goal in the opening two chukkas, Goose Creek used an efficient three-player attack with Peke Gonzalez, Mariano Gonzalez and Matias Magrini all scoring at least three goals each in the game. Play resumes Thursday in the Iglehart Cup as Postage Stamp Farm faces Pilot to fight for position in the semi-finals.



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