Play continued Sunday in the 2013 Maserati U.S. Open with Valiente (3-0), Audi (1-3) and Zacara (2-0) all recording wins in their trek to the U.S. Open finals.
With 11 teams competing in the tournament’s second week of competition at the International Polo Club in Wellington, only four teams remain undefeated in the quest for American polo’s most coveted trophy, the Maserati U.S. Open Championship.
Lyndon Lea’s 2012 defending championship Zacara polo team returned intact this season to defend its title, and has already racked up wins against Orchard Hill (12-10) and Faraway (15-7) against no losses. Under Lea’s leadership, Zacara will field 10-goaler Facundo Pieres and last year’s U.S. Open MVP Mike Azzaro.
Bob Jornayvaz’s Valiente polo team boasts the talents of two 10-goal players in Adolfo Cambiaso and David “Pelon” Stirling. They have won all three of their preliminary U.S. Open games, including Sunday’s exciting 13-12 overtime win against Zorzal (1-2). Last year, Valiente captured both the C.V. Whitney Cup and the USPA Piaget Gold Cup — two thirds of American polo’s Triple Crown — and are looking to bag the U.S. Open this year.
Victor Vargas returns with his Lechuza Caracas team (2-0) and will be trying to recapture the cup his team last captured in 2011. His team features Argentine 10-goaler Juan Martin Nero; one of the tournament’s top scorers in Polito Pieres; and 7-goal standout Francisco Elizalde.
Julian Mannix’s Alegria is the only other high-goal polo team that is currently undefeated. Victorious in its only match of the tournament (an 11-7 win over a winless Faraway team), Alegria met Piaget on Monday afternoon and came away with an 8-7 victory. They will have to bounce back to face Orchard Hill (0-2) on Thursday.
With eight of the 11 teams in competition returning on Sunday to play in the Maserati U.S. Open quarterfinals, there will be a number of upsets made possible with newcomers making a bid to make their way into next Wednesday’s semifinals.
Ticket prices for Sunday polo range from $10 general admission to $120 box seating. Tickets for Sunday brunch at the Pavilion and its reception start at $65, upward to $330 for the Veuve Clicquot brunch package for two. Tickets can be purchased online at www.internationalpoloclub.com, or by calling (561) 204-5687. Find IPC on Facebook, follow on Twitter at @SundayPolo or visit www.ipcscoreboard.com for up-to-date scores, schedules, rosters and all other polo info.
Above: Actress Bo Derek, American Idol contestant Brooke Eden, IPC’s John Wash, IPC mascot Chukker, Ethan Cooper and actor John Corbett. PHOTOGRAPHY BY LILA PHOTO