KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A Lot of bull riding action is on tap for tonight. Round 1 in Kansas City is an ABBI Classic round like we saw in the opening round in Oklahoma City. Saturday will also have a 15/15 Bucking Battle that will feature one of the rankest groups of bulls you will see in one round all year. Look for the riders to look good in the first round, and the bulls to win decisively in the 15/15 Bucking Battle.
Derek Kolbaba on 44A Smooth Over:
Smooth Over made himself the ABBI Classic bull to watch by throwing J.W. Harris off in Oklahoma City and looking spectacular while doing it. If Kolbaba can stay on him here it could be worth upwards of 90 points.
Gage Gay on 03 Redbone:
This is not an ABBI bull, but he’s a good draw for Gay who has been on him twice before and ridden him once. This is a big, colorful bull with great big horns and great timing. He’s one of the better long round draws in the PBR. He’s not that difficult to ride, but because of his size and his looks he shows well.
Dakota Buttar on 5A After Midnight:
After Midnight came in just under 44 points when he threw Cody Heffernan off in Oklahoma City and he had a lot of up and down. He’s unridden in 10 career outs, but don’t count on this going his way. Buttar is a talented kid, and I feel like he’s a guy that is here to stay, and he’s got the talent to finish in the Top 10.
Silvano Alves on 12- Holy Mullah:
This bull has spent most of his career at the Touring Pro Division level, and he’s 0-4 against right-handed riders. That gives him zero chance of getting Alves on the ground. Look for Alves to get a score here, but not a round-winning kind of score.
Chase Outlaw on 104 Jump Street:
Outlaw has made a name for himself looking good on bulls that go around and around. Tonight he’s getting on two bulls that mostly go up and down. Jump Street is a rideable bull at this level, but he’s got enough power and drop to beat the best guys most of the time.
Shane Proctor on 211 Red Fury:
Red Fury has two outs on record, and both resulted in qualified rides. Cody Heffernan rode him at the Velocity Tour Finals in Las Vegas, and if he has the same trip here he will be a near perfect fit for Proctor, who is coming off an event win in Anaheim, California.
15/15 Bucking Battle
J.B. Mauney on Y4 Wired Child:
It seems odd to see Mauney leading off a 15/15 Bucking Battle, because he is practically never this low in the standings. This bull got Jess Lockwood in Oklahoma City, and he’s 8-0 against left-handed riders. On the other hand, he hasn’t drawn very many top-tier lefties. He should fit Mauney well, and I would expect this to go Mauney’s way. Wired Child doesn’t exactly drill a hole in the ground. He can be unpredictable and aimless, but Mauney doesn’t have a weakness. He rides every kind of bull well.
Matt Triplett on 44W Stone Sober:
Way back in January of 2013, Emilio Resende became the first man to ride Stone Sober. He’s also the last right-handed man to ride him, 33 righties have tried and failed in all the years since. This is a particularly hard bull to handle going away from the rider’s hand, and his record shows it.
Ryan Dirteater on 204 Deep Water:
Deep Water is quietly 22-1 in his career, and the only ride he’s given up was on an uncharacteristically weak trip. At times this bull can look really special, with a lot of up and down and a lot of power, but as soon as you expect that of him he’s prone to come back with a more ordinary effort. Dirteater will have his hands full on a bull that can be heavy and is likely to be away from his hand.
Mason Lowe on W37 Cochise:
This is a rematch from the 15/15 Bucking Battle in Kansas City last year and Cochise won the match. Lowe has pulled this bull in the same round at the same event two years in a row. He’s in the same situation as Matt Triplett too, in that Cochise likes to go to the left, and he’s seriously hard to deal with for right-handed riders. Like Stone Sober, he’s one of the most difficult to ride bulls around for righties.
Cooper Davis on 135 Hey Jack:
Hey Jack is still unridden at the BFTS level. He allowed a ride at a PBR Canada event early in his career, but nothing since. He’s a quality bull that is close to being able to win a World Championship, but not quite there. He’s been a consistent 44-point bull since he came to the BFTS. Davis will have his work cut out for him here.
Dener Barbosa on 045 Seven Dust:
Like Stone Sober and Cochise, this bull’s style tends to deny riders when he goes away from their hand, and that’s probably what’s going to happen here. Seven Dust has a lot of breakover, and can really pull on a rider’s arm. On top of that, he can lurch forward in the spin or fade a little and drop the rider to the inside. Because he goes to the right, left-handed riders have a lot to deal with facing him, and you’re not going to see them have much success unless Seven Dust eases up enough to allow it.
Mike Lee on 001 Smooth Operator:
Lee has been on this bull twice before, and hasn’t quite made it to the 3 second mark, and that’s about what I would expect. If you watch this sport for 35 years or so you will see a lot of riders beat the odds and ride bulls that were considered unrideable at the time, so it’s hard to ever say a bull is impossible. But, Smooth Operator has a move that I believe is impossible for a lefty to get by. He may not do it every time, but if he takes a long fake to the left before coming back around to the right at about the 2.5 second mark, it’s too much for any rider, especially when the power part of it goes to the right.
Shane Proctor on 9311 Honey Hush:
This is a bull we don’t see very often, but he’s a good one, and a rideable matchup for Proctor compared to some of the other pairings in this round. The last time we saw Honey Hush ridden was at the 2014 World Finals, where J.W. Harris scored 93.25 points on him in the short round. He’s only appeared seven times since then, most recently at the 2016 World Finals where he threw off Nathan Schaper and Zane Cook. Harris’s ride is one of only two rides this bull has given up in 33 career outs.
Chase Outlaw on Brutus:
Brutus has looked like a beast for the past two weekends, but he’s more rideable than he looks. He is one of the more rideable bull in the round in fact, but there’s a catch. Brutus often has very little direction change and spends most of his energy going up and coming down. Those are usually the only two factors riders have to deal with to get him ridden, and a lot of them do. Is he a good fit for Outlaw? In general, I don’t see bulls with a tremendous amount of up and down as a good fit for short, compact riders, but Outlaw may rise up here. If you look at the guys who have ridden Brutus, it’s mostly thin, wiry guys who have a little give in their style, and more importantly, in their limbs. If Outlaw gets stiff, Brutus will jerk a knot in him. The good (and bad) thing about Outlaw is that he lives up to his name a little. He doesn’t follow a script, and that may help him when he’s got a bull that isn’t the best one for his style.
Eduardo Aparecido on 57Z Jack Shot:
Aparecido won the last 15/15 Bucking Battle on this bull with a 90.25-point ride in Sacramento, California, just two weeks ago. Jack Shot is no cake walk, but he likes the right, and Aparecido really got along with him. In a round where there aren’t many matchups that look good for the rider, this one does.
Kaique Pacheco on 104 Moto Moto:
Like Aparecido, Pacheco has one of the best draws in the round, and a bull that should fit him very well. Moto Moto likes the right, and is 8-5 against right-handers in his career. He does win most of the time, but in this group of bulls a 62% buckoff percentage is pretty light.
Derek Kolbaba on 222 Mystical:
Mystical is 16-0 in his young career, and in his last six BFTS outs he’s thrown off Mauney, Jess Lockwood (twice), Ryan Dirteater and Marco Eguchi. Kolbaba will have to try and succeed where those guys failed, and that’s a tall order. The odds are with the bull on this one.
Marco Eguchi on 32Y SweetPro’s Bruiser:
Every time Bruiser leaves the chute there’s the potential for a 90-point or higher ride. While he’s been a little better to left-handed riders in his career, Eguchi still has a shot here as does every rider at this level. Bruiser is one of the more rideable bulls of his caliber, and he’s very similar to his grandsire Little Yellow Jacket in that respect.
Rubens Barbosa on 1149 Pearl Harbor:
It’s early in the year, but Pearl Harbor is already making a statement in the World Champion Bull race. He’s looking like he will be hard to beat, and I think the momentum has shifted in his favor over Bruiser. Barbosa is a strong rider and he sometimes uses his physical strength to power through minor mechanical mistakes he makes, but I don’t know if that will work on a bull as strong and complete as Pearl Harbor. It didn’t when they met in Oklahoma City in January.
Jess Lockwood on 58X SweetPro’s Long John:
This matchup has potential, because Lockwood is capable of riding bulls with a lot of power and drop, and Long John is honest enough to allow a qualified ride now and then. He hasn’t allowed one in almost a year, but there’s always a chance. Just because Lockwood has spent the last week or so posing for pictures that make him look like a young, moody version of movie star Tom Cruise doesn’t mean he’s as wimpy as the real life Tom Cruise. This is a gritty kid who will do what it takes to stay on to the whistle. If he gets out of shape on Long John there won’t be any hanging on for an extra second or two, because this bull is too strong for that.
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