Morning Line - Eugene, Oregon, Day 1
Gage Gay on T05 El Capitan:
This should be a good fit for Gay. El Capitan is as nice a bull as we will see in this round, and Gay needs to pick up some points. He has no rides his last two events.
Derek Kolbaba on 2-1 Mortimer:
Mortimer has been ridden four times in five Built Ford Tough Series outs, and that’s good news for Kolbaba who has just two rides over the past five events. This bull is just as nice to ride as El Capitan, and they may be the two lowest difficulty long round bulls here.
Mike Lee on W56 Whiskey Bent:
Gage Gay was 87.5 points in this bull at the Last Cowboy Standing in May, and he went to the left with Gay. This is a bull with good speed and great timing, and Lee should handle him easily. There’s a good chance this matchup could turn into a round win.
Mason Lowe on 801 Pistol Whipped:
Last time we saw this bull was in Tacoma, Washington, in 2014 and he made short work of Douglas Duncan there. Since then he’s been to just two Touring Pro Division events and was ridden at both of them. With Duncan, he showed an extreme amount of backup, and that may not be bad for Lowe, who has a riding style that should help him stay off a bull’s head.
Tanner Byrne on 643 Must Be Nice:
This is another bull we really only see at events in this region of the country. He’s faced two right-handed riders before - Kaique Pacheco and Eduardo Aparecido - and both of them got a score on him. Byrne is in practically the same fix as Derek Kolbaba, with two rides in the last five events. He needs to make something happen.
Joao Ricardo Vieira on 213 Hotline Bling
This is a brand new bull with only one out on record, but that one out is what makes this interesting. In a Portland TPD event earlier this season, Neil Holmes was 89 points on Hotline Bling, and Holmes is a lefty like Vieira. This could turn out well for Vieira, who is coming off a big win last week.
Fabiano Vieira on 718 Captain Jack:
Captain Jack is another debut bull, and another potentially good one. He’s given up three good scores this year in nine outs, and that kind of record indicates he should be a pushover for Vieira. The caveat here is that nothing has been a pushover for Vieira lately because of his nagging injury.
15/15 Bucking Battle
Tanner Byrne on 781 Asteroid:
Remember that time Silvano Alves won the World Championship back in 2014? That’s the last time Asteroid was ridden, and he had an off day then. Before that it was J.B. Mauney in 2012. Asteroid is one of the hardest bulls to stay on in recorded history. He has a small compact build, and when he’s at his best he can get as vertical as it’s possible for a bull to get. This leaves a rider no room for error on him. Byrne should be able to handle his drop and kick, but even a slight bobble can cost him on this bull.
Guilherme Marchi on 06 Swashbuckler:
Swashbuckler goes to the left, and he can have a hitch in his timing here and there, but in general he is a bull that Marchi and most top-level riders should be able to handle. That said, Marchi has been on him twice this season and hasn’t gotten it done. There are far more difficult bulls he could have drawn here, and qualified rides have been rare in these 15/15 Bucking Battles recently. Good opportunity for Marchi here.
Lachlan Richardson on 90 Boot Jack:
This bull is something of an enigma. He does the same thing every time, and he’s been around for a while, and he consistently makes riders look foolish. He goes to the right and wants the rider to the inside of the spin, and he gets his way almost every time. Reese Cates rode him in Billings, Montana, last year, and since then he’s bucked off 28 straight riders, 16 of those at BFTS events. Richardson has a shot here because he’s right-handed, but it’s hard to bet on anyone staying on Boot Jack past 3 seconds.
Derek Kolbaba on 35 Spotted Demon:
Spotted Demon is a lot like Boot Jack in that, despite having a predictable pattern, he seems to have riders bamboozled. He’s 22-1 at the BFTS level, and the one ride was on the one day he just didn’t buck at all. He tends to get a lot of riders down on his head. He has some backup, and he can be just welly enough to cause riders to lose leverage and get their feet behind them. Kolbaba is an underdog here, but he’s got a chance. This bull should get ridden more often than he does.
Wallace de Oliviera on -904 Fire & Smoke:
Fire & Smoke has been around since 2014, and has been ridden nine times, but he’s 25-0 against right-handed riders. He’s primarily a speedy spinner, and he can move forward and be a little welly at times. He’s not an overly powerful bull, but he’s not a rider favorite either. Oliveira is a big underdog here.
Paulo Lima on E5 Big Cat:
Joao Ricardo Vieira made a shrewd choice picking this bull in the short round last week, and converted it into an event win. Big Cat looked impressive in Springfield. He was the high marked bull of the event there, beating out Pearl Harbor and SweetPro’s Bruiser for the honor. With Vieira last week he looked a lot nicer to ride, and he’s the best draw in this round for a left-handed rider.
Shane Proctor on 143 Bad Moon Rising:
This bull threw Kaique Pacheco in Round 2 in Colorado Springs last week. Pacheco has ridden him before, as have Derek Kolbaba and Ryan Dirteater. This will be his first trip in a short round or a 15/15 Bucking Battle at the BFTS level. I’ve mentioned several times that Proctor’s riding percentage is off his normal pace from the last couple of years, but it’s also fair to mention that he’s pocketed over $275,000 this year riding bulls, and will have opportunities to more than double that by year’s end. He went 1-for-3 last week, but still picked up as many points as he would have for winning a BlueDEF level event.
Mike Lee on 001 Smooth Operator:
Early in the 2015 season, Smooth Operator met up with Guilherme Marchi, and turned in the weakest out of his career. Marchi rode him for 83.5 points. Aside from that moment of weakness, few riders have even challenged him. He typically goes to the right, though he often makes a hard feint to the left first. He’s faced the top riders numerous times, and they rarely make even one full round on him before getting launched. On his best days, he’s as close to unrideable as a bull can get. He doesn’t have enough outs this season to be in the World Champion Bull qualifier race, but he’s legitimately on the level of the bulls that are in it.
Ryan Dirteater on 125 Catfish John:
This is the bull that narrowly cost Jess Lockwood the event win last week, and Lockwood picked him first in the draft. Catfish John has been ridden a few times, and he’s a good draw in this group, but he’s bucked Dirteater off twice this season already.
Fabiano Vieira on 027 Kookaburra:
This is another bull that is pretty good to ride compared to some of the others in this round, but he’s only been ridden once in six BFTS outs. A healthy Vieira would be a huge favorite here, but Vieira in the shape he’s in right now is a huge question mark on every bull.
Jess Lockwood on 122 Semper Fi:
This is a rematch from the Springfield 15/15 Bucking Battle where Lockwood was 86 points on Semper Fi. This is a matchup that looks good for Lockwood on paper, but in Springfield nothing looked good about except that he got a score. The bull was about as miserable and difficult as he could be. The odds are he will be nicer to ride here, because there isn’t much room to go in the opposite direction. Lockwood has a good chance to win the round here, or at least place high.
Eduardo Aparecido on 12 Crossfire:
Throughout the second half of the season, Aparecido has alternately looked unstoppable or uninterested. He has the talent to stay on this bull, but Crossfire may be the most difficult honest bull going. He’s not tricky, but he’s strong and only two guys have managed to stay on him in 58 career outs. He goes to the right, which is good for Aparecido. Crossfire and Smooth Operator are the two best bulls in this round, and with this matchup, Crossfire is more likely to produce a qualified ride.
Joao Ricardo Vieira on 02 Beaver Creek Beau:
Once upon a time in the year 2013, Beaver Creek Beau was a wee three year old bull who had not yet been to a BFTS event. He ran into Ryan Dirteater at an Archdale, North Carolina, TPD event, and Dirteater rode him rather easily. This was a historic moment because it was the first and last time any left-handed rider managed to stay on Beaver Creek Beau. Beau was much smaller back then, and the trip he had with Dirteater was pretty ordinary. Beau is 29-0 against lefties since that time. He’s a little slower now, but a lot bigger and considerably stronger. Vieira has tried him four times and barely made it past the four second mark twice.
Cooper Davis on D05 Flint:
Flint is a PBR veteran. He’s been around since 2012, and he’s been on Cody Lambert’s naughty list a few times. That’s the reason we’ve only seen him twice this year. He was really good in Colorado Springs, and that’s why he’s in this round. When he’s at his best he’s a normal short-round bull, and when he’s not he’s a lower end long-round bull or not good enough to be here. He’s a pretty good draw for Davis because he goes to the right and he’s always been good to right-handed riders.
Kaique Pacheco on 991 Dead Calm:
This bull can be a handful, and he’s thrown off some pretty good riders, but Pacheco rode him in February in Anaheim, California. Despite not having a great event in Colorado Springs, Pacheco’s numbers look pretty good for a guy who is shooting for a World Championship. He and Cooper Davis both look like they guys to beat except for one thing. J.B. Mauney has outridden them both all year, particularly on the top-tier bulls - the kind of bulls that will be a big factor at the Built Ford Tough World Finals. What that means is that with Mauney out, Pacheco and Davis both have a shot at picking up bonus points on bulls that aren’t top tier, and neither of them can afford to pass up this kind of opportunity.
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