ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – We saw 15 bulls ridden last night, and that’s a good number considering the overall strength of the pen here. There may be more of a struggle tonight. The Round 2 bulls are just as strong as a group, but there are more individual matchups that favor the bull tonight. Scores may be harder to come by for most riders, and anyone with two scores on the board after tonight should be smiling.
Cooper Davis on 37Z Udder Lover:
This bull threw off Kaique Pacheco in Little Rock, Arkansas, and he’s unridden in 11 Built Ford Tough Series outs. But, he’s given up two rides in his five most recent outs. Derek Kolbaba rode him at a Fort Worth Texas ABBI / Touring Pro Division event, and Joe Frost rode him in the semi-finals of the San Antonio Rodeo. Davis won’t have an easy time here, but he’s got a chance.
J.W. Harris on 122 Cooper Tires Semper Fi:
Harris had a really nice bull last night, and got out of Round 1 with a good score. He’ll have a much tougher task tonight. Semper Fi has thrown Harris off twice before, and his bucking style is tailor-made to beating Harris. Harris always rides right at the edge of going over the front end of the bull, and it’s a viable and successful strategy. Because he’s toying with losing his balance forward every time a bull lands and kicks, he’s able to easily get back to the front end when the bull takes off on the next jump. This is a fundamental mechanic of bull riding that a lot of riders just don’t do well, but Harris is the master of it.
From a bull’s point of view, the way to beat this particular rider is just to go ahead and make sure he goes over the front end. That’s exactly what Semper Fi’s game plan is every time. He will break his timing with a stutter step and back up under himself before taking the next jump. He tries to get every rider down on his front end, and that’s the perfect recipe against Harris. The key factor here is that Semper Fi can be hot or cold, and sometimes he’s close to an ordinary long round bull without much trickery. If he has that ordinary day here, Harris will win, because Harris really never has a day where he’s just an average rider. He’s always good.
Stetson Lawrence on 143 Bad Moon Rising:
Lawrence is one of the few guys who have a favorable matchup in this round, and if he can capitalize on it he will have two good scores on the board. Bad Moon Rising is ridden fairly often by left-handed riders, and there’s nothing about him that should give Lawrence trouble. He’s essentially a carbon copy of the bull Harris rode last night, except he spins the opposite way.
Kaique Pacheco on 95X DaNutso:
This is a rematch from Sacramento, California, where Pacheco won the match with 86 points, but that’s not a guarantee that he will win this one. DaNutso is like Steve Martin in the 1970’s - he’s a wild and crazy guy. He’s also like Michael Jackson in that sometimes he’s moving backwards when it seems like he should be going forward, and like Forrest Gump he appears to make crazy moves for no particular reason. In short, he’s unpredictable, and Pacheco may not get the same trip he had last time.
Silvano Alves on 02 Beaver Creek Beau:
Beau is one of the better and more proven bulls in this round. He’s a veteran of many championship rounds, and many buckoffs. Alves has been on him twice and bucked off twice, and we could call this one early were it not for the fact that Alves is right-handed. Beau goes to the right, and he’s essentially only been ridden by right-handed riders.
Paulo Lima on 1037 Cooper Tires Brown Sugar:
I’m pretty sure Brown Sugar has been featured in the Morning Line every time he’s been in a round I’ve covered, because I happen to think he’s the best bull in the cowboy universe. He’s not the rankest, or the easiest bull, and he’s not going to win a world title. That said, he is classy, consistent, flashy, honest and just plain good. Lima has been on him twice and ridden him once. You can think of Brown Sugar as a light version of SweetPro’s Bruiser. He’s a really good bull that gives every rider a chance at a great score if they don’t make mistakes.
Luciano de Castro on 978 Little Red Jacket:
Castro drew one of the best bulls in the business for right-handed riders, but he’s left-handed. Little Red Jacket is 15-15 against righties in his career, and 13-2 against lefties, so Castro will have to beat the odds to get a score here. This is a very good bull, and an especially good bull to have in a long round.
Chase Outlaw on -935 Texicali:
Outlaw drew well here. Texicali will go to the right, but he’s been ridden a lot by left-handed guys because he has good timing. If Brown Sugar is like Bruiser without so much up and down, this bull is like Brown Sugar without covering so much ground. In fact, he and Brown Sugar may look a lot alike in this small arena. Expect Outlaw to win this match. Outlaw’s only weakness lately is choosing a championship round bull. When they ask him what bull he wants in the short round he picks the wrong one.
Stormy Wing on Z32 Cracker Breaker:
Wing won the first round, and he could do well here, but this bull is something of an obstacle. If bulls can be compared to cars, then last night Wing was cruising in an Alfa Romeo, and today he’s climbing into a rock climbing Jeep. Cracker Breaker can be rough and rugged, and he won’t be smooth and easy.
Matt Triplett on 922 Modified Clyde:
As many times as Modified Clyde has been on the highlight reel, it’s interesting to note that he’s rarely been ridden by a right-handed rider. It’s happened just twice in 74 career outs. He’s 25-2 against righties overall. Triplett has bucked off of him twice, both times in 2014. This is clearly one of the best bulls to have here, but maybe not so much for right-handed guys.
Mike Lee on 231Z Show Kitty:
Mike Lee rode a bull last night that he had ridden before, and he’s got another one here. He scored 83 points on Show Kitty in Sacramento in January. Two low 80’s scores may look good at this event by the end of the night.
Shane Proctor on -127 Cooper’s Comet:
Proctor suffered a concussion last night, and he will need to pass the concussion protocol today to be allowed to compete, but if he does he has a very good matchup waiting. He won the championship round in Kansas City on Cooper’s Comet with an 89.75 point ride.
Gage Gay on 247 Red Bandana:
Gay had a good ride last night, and he’s got a very similar bull here. Red Bandana goes to the right, and has very even timing. He’s been ridden a couple of times this year by Rubens Barbosa, and he should fit Gay very well.
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