The Morning Line: Des Moines, day 1


  • The Des Moines Invitational will feature Round 1 action and a 15/15 Bucking Battle on Saturday.
  • In the 15/15 Bucking Battle, Joao Ricardo Vieira draws Barracuda, who is making his first appearance in a short round or Bucking Battle.
  • Mike Lee draws Mississippi Hippy, who was last ridden last year in Des Moines.

In This Article

For the past couple of weeks, we’ve seen an almost identical pen of bulls. This week will be completely different. The short round and the 15/15 round will be a little softer than it was in Nampa and Billings, but this group of bulls is still very strong. 

Round 1 Matchups:

J.B. Mauney on 982 Ceiling Bioscience’s Jukebox Hero:

Mauney has a pretty rank bull in the 15/15 round, and this one should be a good warm up. This bull has been ridden 10 times in 14 BFTS outs, and he’s 3-8 against lefties. Every rider at this event should be favored against him, and he should be a slam dunk for Mauney, except that Mauney has always had a tendency to play to the level of whatever bull he’s on. That probably won’t be enough to get the bull a victory here, though. Look for Mauney to be 85-87 points here.

Kasey Hayes on R287-01 Closing Time:

This is an interesting matchup because Hayes is as good as anyone at riding bulls that go into his hand, and this bull isn’t likely to play along. Closing Time does get ridden from time to time, but only by right-handed riders. He’s never let a lefty get the best of him.

Nathan Schaper on 730 Air Bender:

Schaper is on a roll after riding five in a row last weekend, and he’ll probably keep rolling right on through this round at least. He and Air Bender met in New York City and Schaper put up 85.25 points in that meeting. In five BFTS outs, this bull has given up three qualified rides.

Jorge Valdiviezo on -9 Circle City:

Valdiviezo is here because of a Touring Pro Division win, and he’s drawn a pretty nice bull. He should be able to get on the board easily in Round 1. Circle City has been ridden in 4-of-5 BFTS outs.

Joao Ricardo Vieira on 011 Super Cella:

There are a few bulls out in this round that are pretty nice to ride, but this one might be the nicest. He only has nine career outs, and he’s given up six qualified rides. Vieira has been a contender since he arrived in the U.S., and he’s having a career year so far. He should handle this bull easily.

Bryan Titman on 822T Buck Even:

The numbers say this bull should go into Titman’s hand, and he gets ridden pretty often by right-handed riders. The catch is that Titman prefers bulls that go away from his hand. Statistically, there are more bulls around that go to the left, and it’s not uncommon for right- handed guys to have more experience on bulls that go away from their hand.

Gage Gay on X8 Spitball:

We don’t see this bull too often, but when we do he’s usually getting ridden, and usually by a left-handed guy. Gay will have to deal with going away from his hand, but overall, this is one of the better draws in the round.

15/15 Round Matchups:

Cody Nance on L37 Yo Yo:

Yo Yo has been around for a few years, but he doesn’t get out much. He’s been to the World Finals three times, and he’s always a tough bull to get a score on. He typically goes to the right, he can move forward at random times during the ride, and he’s never let a left handed rider make the whistle. He’s given up five qualified rides in his career, and Silvano Alves owns three of those. Guilherme Marchi and Valdiron de Oliveira are the two other guys who got a score on him. Nance has tried him once — back in 2011 — with no success.

Stetson Lawrence on 43X Magic Train:

These two met at the Iron Cowboy earlier this year, and it lasted just 2.57 seconds. Magic Train is notoriously unpredictable. If whatever it is he’s doing isn’t getting the rider off his back, he’ll try something else pronto. He’s given up just two rides in 27 career outs, and his unpredictable nature is the biggest reason why more guys haven’t ridden him.

Shane Proctor on 35 Spotted Demon:

This is a pretty interesting matchup. Spotted Demon hasn’t been ridden in quite a while, and he’s faced some pretty capable riders. Proctor is fresh off beating another seldom-ridden bull – Beaver Creek Beau – not once but twice. This bull has a very different style, though. He’s faster and trickier than Beaver Creek Beau. He can be welly, and an all-out aggressive approach won’t work well. 

Mike Lee on 3 Mississippi Hippy:

Mississippi Hippy was last ridden here in Des Moines, Iowa, a year ago. Kasey Hayes placed in the short round on him. Lee had him in Baltimore earlier this season and came down in under three seconds. In his five year career, Hippy has given up just five qualified rides. He’s a little unpredictable — he doesn’t always follow a pattern, but the most difficult thing about him is that he’s just really big. When he throws his weight around, he’s using a lot more weight than most bulls. He doesn’t get on the highlight reel very often because the camera lens usually isn’t wide angle enough to capture all of him. 

JB Mauney on 927 Air Time:

In the opening round, Mauney has a pretty nice bull, and after he warms up on that one, he will step way up to the top in terms of bull power. Air Time is the heaviest hitter and the only current World Champion Bull contender here in Des Moines. He’s also one of the few top tier bulls that Mauney hasn’t been on yet. Air Time is exactly the kind of bull that has made Mauney’s career so impressive. Mauney has many big rides on the ranker bulls, and this matchup has that kind of potential, but it won’t be easy.

Fabiano Vieira on 1327 Who Dey:

This may be the best bull to have in this round. He’ll go to the right, away from Vieira’s hand, but he has great, even timing and is very rideable compared to a lot of the other bulls here. Vieira is more than capable of getting the job done here, but he hasn’t been riding at the level we expect from him lately. He won Fresno earlier this year, but hasn’t earned many points since.

Kasey Hayes on 316 Cowboy’s Dance Hall Panda Trax:

To the eye, this looks like a bull that should be one of the easier ones to ride in a short round or 15/15 round, but his record says he’s no pushover. He’s given up just five scores in 46 career outs. He does like to go to the left, which should suit Hayes, but it didn’t help most of the lefties who have been on him, including JB Mauney, Fabiano Vieira and Renato Nunes.

Tanner Byrne on 122 Cooper Tires Semper Fi:

This bull is definitely in the lighter half of this group, but he’s still pretty tough. He can hesitate a little in the spin, which can throw his timing off, and in his last two outs he’s gotten the best of J.W. Harris and Renato Nunes. He’ll go to left, which will make him a little harder for right-handed Byrne.

Reese Cates on 954 Little Joe:

This is a pretty good draw for Cates. Little Joe carried Ryan Dirteater to a long round win in St. Louis earlier this season. He went to the right with Dirteater, and looked like he could be a little welly. Cates is coming off a big ride in Billings last week, and he’s been doing very well against the top tier bulls this season. He should be feeling confident coming in to this.

Nathan Schaper on L704 David’s Dream:

Schaper won the event last week in Billings, Montana, and rode five bulls in a row there. He’s got a very nice bull in round one here. I expect him to stay on a roll right up until his happy wagon rolls into the rock that is David’s Dream. There’s nothing particularly dreamy about this bull at all. He’s hard to ride. He ranks in the top 35 most difficult bulls in PBR history. He’s given up one ride in his career to a lefty — Mike Lee rode him about one year ago at a Touring Pro Division event. Schaper has been on him once before and took him nearly to the 6 second mark. Schaper definitely has a chance here, but this bull is a tough one to beat.

Kaique Pacheco on 90 Boot Jack:

Boot Jack was conquered last week by Reese Cates, but that doesn’t mean he’ll be an easy mark for Pacheco. Boot Jack has been pretty consistent all year. Pacheco has looked like a World Championship contender at times, but after his win in St. Louis, he had a long cold spell until winning second in Billings last week. This is the kind of bull that you earn points on every time, and the kind of bull Pacheco needs to beat to be a contender.

Guilherme Marchi on 906 Pistol Pete:

This bull is rideable, but it’s been about a year since anyone’s ridden him. He threw JB Mauney and LJ Jenkins in St. Louis earlier this season, and knocked Kaique Pacheco out of the Iron Cowboy. He’s one of the least-experienced bulls in this round. We’ve only seen him in championship rounds twice before. Marchi, on the other hand, has more short round experience and more short round success than any rider in PBR history.

Valdiron de Oliveira on 1037 Cooper Tires Brown Sugar:

I really thought Brown Sugar would be ridden for big scores pretty often this season, but as it turns out he’s been too much for just about everyone to handle. His normal routine is to fake pretty hard to the left and come back around to the right, but at times he can just stay hooked to the left. Either way, once the gate opens, he goes at it hard and won’t let up at all until the rider is gone. Because he tends to have pretty even timing, most riders should get along with him, but he does his job so well he still doesn’t get ridden.

Matt Triplett on 045 Diesel:

Diesel is similar to Brown Sugar in one way — his style should be rider-friendly, but he seldom actually gets ridden. Diesel usually goes to the left, he doesn’t have a lot of speed, he jumps high and tends to hang in the air instead of immediately dropping and kicking. Bulls that hang in the air give the rider a lot of time to recover from mistakes and get back in position. Diesel has only been ridden once this year, but Triplett is likely to make that two times.

Joao Ricardo Vieira on 128 Barracuda:

Barracuda was out twice in Billings, where he threw Fabiano Vieira and Markus Mariluch. He only has five outs on record, and this will be his first time in a short round or bonus round alongside the better bulls. We don’t know much about this bull, but Vieira will be a test for him. Vieira is the one guy who is truly putting up world championship numbers at this point in the season.


Follow Slade Long on Twitter @Probullstats

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