By Sharon Robb
WELLINGTON, FL—May 6, 2018----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," Alberdi said. "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."
Dutta Corp, which got its start at Grand Champions, is one of club's winningest teams in its 11-year history.
Earlier this season in the spring opener, Dutta Corp (Timmy Dutta, Lucas Diaz Alberdi, Piki Diaz Alberdi, Alex Webb) won the Santa Rita Abierto for the third time, also in rainy conditions, with a 7-4 win over Sebucan (Josh DuBarry, Pablo Pulido, Alejandro Novillo Astrada, Julio Gracida).
To start the doubleheader off, Grand Champions (Jeff Desich, 0, Lucas Lalor, 5, Carlitos Gracida, 4, Pablo Dorignac, 5) won the Sun Festival Subsidiary Cup under sunny skies.
Grand Champions defeated ChukkerTV (Josh DuBarry, 0, Brandon Phillips, 5, Kris Kampsen, 6, Julio Gracida, 4), 4.5-3, and Sebucan (Rich Desich, 0, Pablo Pulido, 2, Mike Azzaro, 6, Juan Bollini, 5), 3-2. In the other game, Sebucan defeated ChukkerTV, 5-4.
Jeff Desich was named Most Valuable Player. Desich scored five goals in both subsidiary round robin games and nine goals over two days in the tournament.
Grand Champions Polo Club and Santa Rita Polo Farm is the largest and most unique private 100-acre polo facility in Wellington with 120 stalls in five self-contained barns, exercise track, five climate-controlled tack rooms, vet room, staff quarters, guest house and polo fields with state-of-the-art underground irrigation and stick-and-ball fields.
During fall, winter and spring seasons, Grand Champions Polo Club, the nation's largest club with 10 well-manicured fields, hosts polo tournaments ranging from six to 26-goal in addition to special events.
The club features monthly 6, 8 and 12-goal tournaments and women's weekly league play during the winter season in addition to two 16-20 tournaments, $50,000 National 12 Goal, $100,000 World Cup winner-take-all 0-26 goal tournament, Sunny Hale's Legacy WCT Final and USPA National President's Cup.
During the 2017 winter season Grand Champions attracted a record 72 teams and another 18 teams during the spring season.
Grand Champions caters to men, women and youth polo players at all levels. Its expert staff can customize a complete playing experience including horses, pros and certified umpires in addition to lessons and practice sessions as part of its' Polo On Demand program, the only polo club in the U.S. to offer the unique program.
The Club Hotline is 561-644-5050. It will be updated every day at 8 a.m. for both players and fans.
2018 Spring Schedule
(Subject to change because of weather and scheduling conflicts).
May 11-13: Spring Challenge Cup.
May 18-20: Polo Gear Invitational.
May 25-28: The Memorial