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Catamount, Isla Carroll, White Birch Win First Round Games In C.V. Whitney Cup At International Polo Club Palm Beach

WELLINGTON, Florida – Ten-goaler Mike Azzaro scored eight goals, including six in the first half, to lead Catamount over past Las Monjitas 14-9 in a first-round match of the 26th annual C.V. Whitney Cup 26-goal polo tournament Thursday at International Polo Club Palm Beach.

In other first-round games, 8-goaler Pancho Bensadon scored five goals to lead Isla Carroll over Everglades 10-9 and White Birch, led by 10-goaler Mariano Aguerre’s four goals and key passes, defeated Millarville 12-9.

Carlos Gracida and Azzaro scored the first two goals and Catamount (1-0) never trailed in the game. Azzaro’s offense sparked Catamount to an 8-4 halftime lead and they coasted to victory.

Gracida finished with five goals and substitute Willie Hartnett, playing for injured patron Scott Devon, added one goal. Pelon Escapite did not score.

Javier Novillo Astrada led Las Monjitas (0-1) with four goals while Nacho Novillo Astrada scored three goals and Eduardo Novillo Astrada and patron Camilo Bautista had one goal each.

Nicolas Intriago, substituting for Isla Carroll patron John Goodman, scored his only goal with 4:21 left in the fifth chukker to give his team a 10-7 lead. Goodman missed the game with a stomach ailment. Isla Carroll dominated the first two minutes of the sixth chukker but could not score, giving Everglades a chance for a comeback. Bensadon and Everglades’ 8-goaler Lucas Monteverde each missed a 60-yard penalty shot midway through the chukker and then Tomas Llorente took control. Llorente scored two goals within an 80-second span to cut the margin to 10-9 with 1:37 left. But Everglades could not get the tying goal.

Eight-goaler Sugar Erskine added three goals and 9-goaler Memo Gracida added one for Isla Carroll (1-0). Llorente finished with a game-high six goals while Monteverde, Owen Rinehart and patron Skeeter Johnston scored one goal each for Everglades (0-1).

Peter Brant scored what proved to be the game-winner with 3:35 remaining in the fifth chukker as the wide-open White Birch patron took a centering pass from Aguerre and tapped in a forehand to make it 10-8.

Millarville cut it to 10-9 late in the fifth chukker but Aguerre added a 60-yard penalty shot with 2:20 left in the sixth chukker and assisted on Del Walton’s goal a minute later to clinch the game.

Brant and Walton finished with three goals while Lucas Criado added two goals for White Birch (1-0). Mariano Gonzalez led Millarville (0-1) with four goals while Frederick Mannix scored three goals and Daniel Roenisch and Augustin Zavaleta had one goal each.

Thirteen teams entered the tournament, which is a prelude to the Stanford Financial Group – U.S. Open Polo Championship, the most prestigious polo tournament in North America. The C.V. Whitney Cup final is scheduled for Sunday, March 21 at 3 p.m. at the International Polo Club Palm Beach stadium.

The tournament is named in memory of Cornelius Vanderbilt “Sonny” Whitney, who along with his brother John Hay Whitney, were important polo patrons in the 1930's. The son of Hall of Fame patron Harry Payne Whitney, C.V. won the U.S. Open three times (twice against his brother), and was a renowned owner and breeder of thoroughbred racehorses.

The polo matches are open to the public. Tickets for the Sunday games at the International Polo Club Palm Beach are available at the gate, beginning at $10 each. For information or advance tickets, call (561) 204-5687 or visit the club website at

International Polo Club Palm Beach is located at 3667 120th Avenue South in Wellington. From I-95, take the Forest Hill Boulevard exit and go west approximately 12 miles. Turn left onto South Shore Boulevard and go two miles. Turn left onto Pierson Road, travel about one mile and then make a right onto 120th Avenue South. The club is on the right. From Florida’s Turnpike, take Exit 93 (Lake Worth Road) and go west about six miles. Make a right onto 120th Avenue South. The club is on the left.


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