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Don Julio Wins Miami Polo Cup Overtime Thriller; Vinny Sangaline MVP

WELLINGTON, Fla., April 24, 2024---Don Julio rallied to capture the inaugural Miami Polo Cup Sunday at Grand Champions Polo Club.

By Sharon Robb

Don Julio (Vinny Sangaline, 1, Benji Daniels, 1, Tito Gaudenzi, 2, Hilario Figueras, 5) scored three goals in the final fourth chukker to force an overtime and defeat Delta (Shannon Hildebrandt, 0, Mario Dino, 1, Justin Daniels, 2, Tomacho Pieres, 5), 7-6.

Vinny Sangaline, scored a game-high six goals including the game-winner, and was named Most Valuable Player.

Sangaline, who competed in the 2022 U.S. Open Polo Championsip for Aspen Valley Polo Club,  started riding horses at 14 and grew up show jumping and fox hunting. He played Intercollegiate/Interscholastic polo at Colorado State University (2014-2018) and has blossomed as a polo player ever since. He is one of the top players in Saturday's WPL Polo Pride game at Grand Champions.

Reina, played by Hildebrandt, was the Grand Champions Polo Club Best Playing Pony. Royal, played by Sangaline, was the American Polo Horse Association Best Playing Pony.

The Miami Polo Cup looked like two different games. Delta won the first half, 4-1 and Don Julio won the second half, 6-2.

Delta jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the opening chukker and pulled away for a 2-1 second chukker and 4-1 halftime lead.

Don Julio found its rhythm and offensive punch in the second half. Don Julio outscored Delta, 2-1, with goals from Sangaline and Daniels to trail 5-3 at the end of the third chukker. Sangaline got even hotter in the fourth chukker scoring three goals to tie 6-6. Sangaline scored the tying goal with 54 seconds left in regulation.

In overtime Delta had the first scoring opportunity and then Sangaline got a hold of the ball and scored the game-winner at the 6:03 mark and it was game over.

In addition to Sangaline's heroics, Benji Daniels added one goal. Delta got balanced scoring from its lineup. Justin Daniels led with three goals, Dino had two and Hildebrandt added one.

The inaugural Miami Polo Cup was created to celebrate the WPL Beach Polo World Cup which was permanently moved to November with the 2024 edition set for Nov. 14-17 in Miami Beach. The Miami Polo Cup event welcomed beach polo partners, sponsors and guests to the host and partner club.



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