Dutta Corp captured its second three-peat of the spring season Sunday at rain-soaked Grand Champions Polo Club. Dutta Corp (Timmy Dutta, 1, Lucas Diaz Alberdi, 5, Piki Diaz Alberdi, 7, Tim Dutta, 0) won the Sun Cup for the third consecutive year. The father-and-son combinations defeated Newport (Gene Goldstein 1, Grant Ganzi, 2, Nacho Novillo Astrada, 9, Marc Ganzi, 2) for the second time in two years with an impressive 10-6 victory.
It was a rematch of the 2016 final when Dutta Corp (Timmy Dutta, Tony Calle, Piki Diaz Alberdi, Brandon Phillips) knocked off Newport (Gene Goldstein, Grant Ganzi, Julio Arellano, Juancito Bollini), 8-6. Dutta Corp was even more impressive the second time around, shutting out Newport in the second, third, fourth and sixth chukkers.
Former 10-goaler Piki Diaz Alberdi, the team’s field general, was named Most Valuable Player. Tambor, a 6-year-old gelding played by Lucas Diaz Alberdi in the second and fifth chukkers, was Best Playing Pony. Alberdi and his son Lucas, each scored four goals. Timmy Dutta added two.
“It was a good game, it was close until the end,” Alberdi said. “In the fifth chukker we scored two or three more goals and were aggressive. It was fun to play with Tim again and fun to play with fathers and sons. I hope we play many, many years. For me to play with my son means a lot. It’s a joy that Tim made this team. We have fun. We celebrate if we win and if we don’t we celebrate anyway and go out to dinner. It is a family team. And congratulations to Grand Champions, the field was very good, amazing to play on even in the rain.”
Tim Dutta said Alberdi was the perfect choice for MVP. “He is our master, he is a brother, he is Timmy’s mentor, like a second father to him,” Dutta said. “The knowledge he gives this kid is just amazing and it shows. Every week, every month, every game the improvement of Timmy inside the polo field is what Piki brings.”
For Newport, Goldstein and Grant Ganzi each had two goals. Marc Ganzi and 9-goaler Nacho Novillo Astrada, playing in only his second game since arriving from Argentina, each scored one goal. It was a physical battle from the opening chukker. Dutta Corp took a quick 2-0 lead before back-to-back penalty conversions by Grant Ganzi tied the game at 2-2. Piki Diaz Alberdi came back with a goal at 1:10 for a 3-2 advantage. Astrada scored in the closing seconds for a 3-3 tie. While both teams had their share of scoring opportunities, only Timmy Dutta scored off a broken play to regain the lead, 4-3, the only goal in the second chukker. Dutta Corp never relinquished the lead after that.
Dutta Corp outscored Newport, 2-0, in the third and 1-0 in the fourth before Newport started to rally in the rain-filled fifth, outscoring Dutta Corp, 3-1, behind back-to-back goals by Goldstein and another by Astrada to trail by two, 8-6. Lucas Diaz Alberdi scored a quick goal to open the final chukker for a 9-6 advantage. After a brief rain delay, Dutta Corp maintained its offensive attack while holding Newport scoreless.
It was the first tournament this season father and son combinations Tim and Timmy Dutta and Piki and Lucas Diaz Alberdi competed as a team. “A three-peat is amazing, it’s really a dream playing with family,” Dutta said.
Last year Dutta Corp, an 11-goal team, won the Sun Cup with Tim and Timmy Dutta, Piki Diaz Alberdi and Carlitos Gracida. The foursome led Deeridge (Pablo Dorignac, Grant Ganzi, Will Jacobs, Guille Aguero) from start-to-finish for a 14-8 victory. Gracida was MVP.
“This is our fourth year together with Piki, and now we have Lucas coming in to play,” Dutta said. “It’s always fun to play with family and your son, for me it’s a joy to play with my son. We don’t need to talk to each other, we have great chemistry. Piki is the ultimate general, he commands the ship.”
Dutta said he plans for Dutta Corp to play in the 2019 U.S. Open with the Alberdis and his son. It will be the first of three years under the new USPA directive that has lowered IPC tournaments from 20-26 goals to 18-22 goals for 2019-2021. The new World Polo League, created by Marc and Melissa Ganzi and Bob Jornayvaz, will fill the 26-goal tournament void.
“That is the big plan,” Dutta said. “The three of them will stay on and we are currently looking for a back. I will be there, support the kids and play in the practices.”
Dutta would also like to keep the father-son foursome in tact for other medium goal tournaments. “We are competitive,” Dutta said. “We will continue to play next year as a team. We will find something, we are out of handicap so we need to find something bigger than 12-goal.”
All photos by Chiarofoto