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Paladin, Newport Advance Into Sunday Prisa Invitational Final In Fall Season Opener

 nullFall Season Opener


BOCA RATON, FL-Sept. 27, 2013----Paladin and Newport will play for the championship title Sunday in the Prisa Invitational at Palm City Polo Club.

Game time is 10:30 a.m. The public is welcome and admission is free.

Paladin advanced with a 12-9 victory over Beluga on Friday in a near penalty-free game. David Krantz and Leo Mandelbaum combined for nine goals for Paladin, which led from start to finish.

Paladin's Leo Mandelbaum gets defensive with Beluga's Brandon Phillips. Photo by Scott Fisher

Mandelbaum led scoring with five goals and Krantz added four goals. Nic Roldan had three goals and Juan Bollini played well defensively.

Paladin's Nic Roldan takes possession of the ball. Photo by Scott Fisher

For Beluga, Misha Rodzianko led scoring with four goals, Carlitos Gracida, son of Hall of Famer and former 10-goaler Carlos Gracida, added two goals and Joey Casey and Brandon Phillips each had one goal.

Beluga team effort from Carlitos Gracida, Misha Rodzianko, and Brandon Phillips. Photo by Scott Fisher

On Thursday, Newport was the first team to qualify for the final after mounting an impressive comeback to knock off Casablanca, 13-11, behind Gene Goldstein and Marc Ganzi, who combined for nine goals.

In Friday's game, despite Beluga cutting Paladin's lead to one goal (9-8) in the fifth chukker, Paladin controlled the tempo for most of the game.

Beluga's Brandon Phillips and Carlitos Gracida gain possession of the ball. Photo by Scott Fisher

Paladin, a 15-goal rated team trailed 14-goal team Beluga,1-0, to start the game but quickly evened the score behind Mandelbaum's breakaway goal.

Paladin then reeled off five of the next seven goals in the game for a 6-2 lead in the second chukker. During the scoring spree, Krantz scored a nice goal, taking the second chukker opening throw-in and driving downfield to score.

Joey Casey's tap-in late in the fifth chukker cut Paladin's lead to one goal (9-8) but Mandelbaum, Krantz and Phillips put the game away in the final chukker.

Beluga's Joey Casey going for the back shot despite pressure defense from the Paladin's David Krantz. Photo by Scott Fisher.

The season-opening tournament is allowing players and horses to ease into the fall season, shake the rust off, get into shape and gear up for the remainder of the season.

Roldan is expected to compete in the final on Sunday and then depart for the People's Republic of China where he will represent the U.S. in the Oct. 1-5 Fortune Heights Super Nations Cup at the Tianjin Polo Club in Hong Kong.

Beluga's Brandon Phillips goes for the neck shot downfield. Photo by Scott Fisher

Roldan will join U.S. teammates Mike Azzaro, Tommy Collingwood and Ulysses Escapite in China.

After a successful spring season, Grand Champions Polo Club is hosting what promises to be the most competitive fall season.

Nine tournaments are scheduled, including two 20-goal tournaments in November for the club's sixth fall season.

The Prisa Invitational is the first of seven medium goal tournaments, and only tournament scheduled for Palm City Polo Club.

The fall season-opener will serve as warm-up matches to shake the rust off and fine tune for the season.

The remaining fall tournaments will be hosted at Grand Champions Polo Club. They are the Oct. 4-6 USPA Fall Classic, Oct. 13-15 USPA Kay Colee Memorial; Oct. 18-20 US Trust Cup, Oct. 25-27 USPA Fall Plates; Nov.1-3 Pedro Morrison Memorial and Nov. 8-10 Palm Restaurant Invitational.

The two 20-goal tournaments are the prestigious Oct. 30-Nov. 9 USPA North America Cup and Nov. 13-24 The National 20-Goal Championship.

During the 2012 fall season, Audi dominated the season winning back-to-back USPA North America Cup and USPA National 20-Goal Tournament titles with Marc Ganzi, Carlitos Gracida, Nic Roldan and Hall of Famer and former 10-goaler Carlos Gracida. In the national 20-goal final, Audi edged Piaget, 10-9.

Paladin's David Krantz in hot defensive pursuit of Beluga's Carlitos Gracida. Photo by Scott Fisher

The fall season is considered great preparation for the 20- and 26-goal seasons for 2014 in Wellington.

The fall season is fun and competitive. Rosters and lineups change from tournament to tournament. Evenly-matched teams are put together to help build players skills and performance.

All tournaments are USPA-sanctioned and have grown in stature since their start in the mid-1990s.


Sept. 26-29, Prisa Invitational, Palm City, Boca Raton

Oct. 4-6, USPA Fall Classic

Oct. 13-15, USPA Kay Colee Memorial

Oct. 18-20, US Trust Cup

Oct. 25-27, USPA Fall Plates

Oct. 30-Nov. 9, USPA North America Cup

Nov. 1-3, Pedro Morrison Memorial

Nov. 8-10, Palm Restaurant Invitational

Nov. 13-24,The National 20-Goal Championship


WHERE: 18000 Jog Road, Boca Raton, 561-289-9099 (Club entrance is the first flashing light north of Clint Moore Road).


WHERE: 13444 Southfields Road, on the corner of South Shore Boulevard and Lake Worth Road, Wellington, 561-644-5050.