Stage Set for Spartacus and Priscus Showdown on March 31st to Determine Which Team Will Go to Final Game on April 8th for $250,000 Gladiator Cup Final
Three of Four Teams Still In Contention, Only Spartacus Controls Destiny
Team Spiculus took a 15-11 win over Team Crixus in round five of $250,000 Gladiator Polo™ presented by the U.S. Polo Assn. on Thursday, March 16. This week’s $33,000 matchup between two titan teams was the highest-scoring match in the 7-game series. The event took place at the “Coliseum,” otherwise known as the Equestrian Village of Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC), where Roman-attired gladiators roamed about the venue, greeting guests and offering photo opportunities.
International superstar player Sebastian Merlos (arena handicap 9) was high-scorer of the game with 7 goals. He led his team in a battle to the finish, with Spiculus seizing control in the third chukker and never looking back. Merlos earned the MVP Award presented by the Triple Crown Group.
“Gladiator Polo just keeps getting better,” said Merlos after the victory, which marked his third game in the series. “We understand the game more now, and there is more speed.” He praised Mark Bellissimo, Managing Partner of International Equestrian Group (IEG), who created and organized Gladiator Polo. “Mark has done a great job. He is very serious about bringing polo to the people and making it fun,” added Merlos.
In addition to Merlos, the Spiculus lineup included Pelon Escapite and Mariano Obregon. Crixus players were Santi Torres, Matias Magrini and Mike Azzaro. Crixus is sponsored by U.S. Trust Bank of America Private Wealth Management. Spiculus is sponsored by Don Graves and Marshall & Sterling Insurance, Equisport Division.
“We are delighted to support such an exciting sport,” said an elated Missy Sullivan of Don Graves and Marshall & Sterling Insurance, Equisport Division, after her team’s victory. “Anything to support polo and other equestrian sports in Wellington is great.”
As it stands now, three teams are still in contention for the Gladiator Polo™ League Championship and the inaugural “Gladiator Cup” to be presented to the winner of the April 8th Final. Team Spartacus is the only team that controls its destiny as they lead the league. If Team Spartacus wins on March 31st, they will go to the final and face Team Spiculus in the championship. If Spartacus loses there will be a three-way tie between Spartacus, Priscus, and Spiculus, who will all have records of 2-1, which will be determined by the tie breaking procedure.
TEAM SPICULUS sponsored by Don Graves and Marshall & Sterling Insurance, Equisport Division Supporting sponsors: Braman Motors Bentley, Jamison Irish Whiskey, Stella Artois Beer, Florida Community Bank, Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital, Hedrick Brothers Construction, the Fite Group Luxury Homes, Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, VISIT FLORIDA, Gold Coast Feed, Gladiator Sporting Goods Factory.
TEAM CRIXUS sponsored by U.S. Trust Bank of America Private Wealth Management Supporting sponsors: Braman Motors Mini Cooper, Malibu Rum, Shock Top Beer, Connelly’s Red Mills, Pegasus Builders, The Maya Group, Gonzalez Shenkman & Buckstein, VIP Medical Weight Loss, Palm Beach County Film and Television Commission, DePaula Auto Group.
TEAM PRISCUS sponsored by Richard Schechter and Bainbridge Companies Supporting sponsors: Braman Motors BMW, Absolut Vodka, Raymond James, Bud Light, Dutta Corporation, Five Star Builders, Rosenbaum PLLC, Maria Mendelsohn/Douglas Elliman, Discover the Palm Beaches, and Palm Beach Riding Academy.
TEAM SPARTACUS sponsored by Carol A. Sollak, P.A. and Engel & Völkers Supporting sponsors: Braman Motors Porsche, Avion Tequila, Bank of America, Goose Island Beer, Cavalleria Toscana, Palm Beach Equine Clinic, W Development Group, Galle Law Group, Palm Beach County Sports Commission, and The Wanderers Club.
Children of the world’s top polo players competed in a juniors’ match during halftime: Spiculus (Santos Melos, Kristos Magrini, Miguelito Novillo Astrada) took a 3-1 win over Crixus (Landi Daniels, Hope Arellano, Hunter Azzaro). Santos Merlos is the son of Sebastian Merlos, who watched proudly from the sidelines.
“I have four children, and they all love horses. To watch Santos play means so much to me. I kind of melt,” said an emotional Sebastian Merlos.
Spectators who purchased VIP tickets for the American-style Barbecue buffet, watched ringside from close-to-the-action tables in the main VIP Pavilion. A lively and packed after-party in the “Lion’s Den,” open to all, featured dancing to tunes spun by DJ Maximus.
The next game takes place Friday, March 31, and the final is Saturday evening, April 8. General admission is free. More information please visit www.gladiatorpolo.com.