SACRAMENTO, Calif. - There were 17 qualified rides last night and that’s not unusual for a west coast event, but Saturday night’s action may get a little tougher for the riders, particularly in the 15/15 Bucking Battle. Anytime you get D&H Cattle Company and Chad Berger at the same event, there is a lot of available bull power. Saturday is no exception. 87.25 points won the round Friday night, but we could easily see three or four guys go over that in Round 2. If they ride more than two in the 15/15 Bucking Battle, there’s a great chance we’ll see a 90-point ride before the lights go out.
Round 2 Matchups
Cooper Davis on E5 Big Black Cat:
Last time these two met, Davis was 89.5 points to win the 15/15 Bucking Battle in San Jose, California, in 2016. Davis went on to win the event there as well. This bull typically goes to the left, but he’s been ridden more often by right-handed riders, and Davis handled him perfectly. He’s just a good draw for any rider in any round.
Dakota Buttar on 2-1 Mortimer:
Mortimer, Big Black Cat and Crazy Horse are the three best overall draws available in this round. Mortimer been ridden eight times in 13 outs at the premier level, and usually for a pretty good score. There are bulls in the round that can outscore him, but they aren’t ridden as often. Mortimer nearly always goes to the right, and that will be away from Buttar’s hand.
Tanner Byrne on 2194 Gangster Can Do:
This is a solid, rideable bull who happens to fit Byrne pretty well. Gangster is likely to turn back both ways, but he backs up under the rider a lot, and that benefits a taller rider more than it puts him at risk. Byrne saw one of his Canadian teammates make a solid ride on this bull at the Global Cup in Edmonton just after the World Finals.
Jess Lockwood on 312 Relentless:
Lockwood bucked off last night, but he will probably get a big score here. Relentless goes to the left, has great timing and Lockwood should make him look good. The last two riders to get a score on this bull were both 87 points or more and unless the bull has a bad day Lockwood should get a similar score.
Valdiron de Oliveira on 922 Modified Clyde:
Modified Clyde has been around for a long time. Long enough that Oliveira has faced him twice, both times in 2015. Oliveira won the first match, but came down at the 7-second mark in their second meeting. Clyde has a strong record against right-handed riders. He’s 28-3 against them overall. He’s one of the stronger long-round bulls, and he has appeared in a lot of short rounds in his career.
Stetson Lawrence on 345 The Rising Sun:
This is a great draw for a left-handed rider, as he hasn’t bucked one off yet. Lawrence is coming off a good showing in Oklahoma City, rode his bull last night, and could get another mid-80’s type score here. Look for Rising Sun to have a difficult first few jumps, but once he settles into a spin he has great timing and gets easier to ride.
Marco Eguchi on 017 Crazy Horse:
Eguchi is 1-for-2 on Crazy Horse, but he really should have easily been 2-for-2. The buckoff came at 7.76 seconds. Right-handed riders are kryptonite to this bull – they ride him about 55 percent of the time, and with an average ride score of 87.5 points they bring home a lot of money and points on him. Eguchi already has a score in the books, and he has one of the best draws available for his second one.
Ryan Dirteater on 213 Juice:
We don’t know much about this bull, but we do know two things. He was ridden by Jordan Hansen in his only premier series appearance last fall, and there’s no way he’s as hard to ride as the bull Dirteater had last night. Look for Dirteater’s good fortune to continue tonight.
Derek Kolbaba on 001 Smooth Operator:
This will be an uphill battle for Kolbaba. Smooth Operator has been around for about six years, and in half of those years he’s been ridden just once. He’s 26-0 against left-handed riders. Guilherme Marchi has ridden him twice, Mason Lowe has done it once, and others who have faced him are collectively 0-for-67. Marchi and Lowe are a combined 3-for-8 against him. Marchi has tried him six times to get his two scores.
Smooth Operator is difficult to ride because his style happens to put riders up against a lot more centrifugal force than they are used to feeling against an ordinary bull that spins. On his best trip, this bull will set a rider up by faking a turn to the left and once he feels them shift that way he will crank it back to the right. It’s a hard move to get by, and when he does it right no one has weathered it. All three of the rides against him came when he didn’t pull off the big fake to the left. For Kolbaba to be successful here, he really needs to catch a break from this bull.
Jose Vitor Leme on 806 Speed Demon:
This is an intriguing matchup that should be fun to watch. Speed Demon is a small, athletic bull and Leme is a small, athletic guy. This bull is very fast, and he doesn’t have great timing. He likes to go to the right, and that will add to the difficulty for left-handed Leme. This bull really doesn’t fit any rider, but if you could pick a guy who has the best shot against him it would probably be Leme because he has quick reflexes and that’s a must here.
Cody Campbell on 14Y Indian Medicine:
Campbell could be the dark horse to win the round with this draw. This is far from the best bull out in the round, but he may be the most likely to be ridden, and in a tough round that counts for a lot. Indian Medicine has given up three scores in five premier series outs. He typically goes to the right, and Campbell is right-handed. This matchup is one of the best chances for a qualified ride in the entire round.
Tye Chandler on 32Y Sweet Pro’s Bruiser:
Chandler rode his bull in Round 1 here, and as a reward he will face two Page bulls tonight. First, Acting Crazy, who is no slouch, and then Bruiser. Chandler is right-handed, so that puts him at a slight disadvantage against Bruiser, who is a better fit for lefties in general. But as good as Bruiser is, he can be ridden by anyone anytime provided they are able to make 10 or 11 perfect counter moves in a row. Bruiser will make that many jumps in eight seconds and each jump is a challenge that must be won. If a rider merely survives a jump, Bruiser will wipe him out with the next one. Chandler will have to ride flawlessly to get a score here.
Kaique Pacheco on 57Z Jack Shot:
Pacheco is 2-for-5 against Jack Shot, but the bull has won their last three meetings. Pacheco isn’t really riding his best at the moment either, and that gives the bull an advantage here. Jack Shot is a lighter version of Bruiser. He’s somewhat rideable, but he requires the same sort of flawless performance from the rider. He has a slightly better career buckoff percentage than Bruiser does.
Jess Lockwood on 812 Talking Smack:
Talking Smack has a good deal less experience than most of the other bulls in this round, and he’s a big question mark. He is unridden in six career outs, and he’s thrown off Joao Ricardo Vieira and Cody Campbell. He’s also made a couple of appearances where he’s fouled the rider or the rider couldn’t get out of the chute on him, and that is evidence that he’s bad in the chute. Lockwood is capable of riding anything, but he’s riding into the unknown here.
Dakota Buttar on 1149 Pearl Harbor:
Pearl Harbor is well known for being perpetually involved in a close race for World Champion bull with Bruiser. He’s less flashy than Bruiser, but he’s stronger and more difficult to ride because he can often have a little hitch in his timing. Buttar will have a hard battle here, but as is the case with the few other bulls of this level, if Buttar is perfect he has a chance.
Stetson Lawrence on 08 Moleek:
Lawrence has a knack for knocking off some of the most difficult bulls in the business, and he certainly has a chance to do that here, but the bull’s numbers are against him. Moleek is 16-1 in his career, and a perfect 8-0 against lefties. J.B. Mauney is among the victims. This is a tough, hard-nosed bull who can get out from under anyone.
Joao Ricardo Vieira on 125 Catfish John:
This is a dream draw in a round like this if you are a right-handed rider. Vieira is not only a lefty, but he’s also famously struggled with bulls that go to the right. Occasionally he knocks one out like it’s no big deal, and if he can have that kind of day here he could ride this bull, but this matchup looks like it should go to the bull eight times out of 10 on paper.
Eduardo Aparecido on A1 Mud Shark:
Aparecido rode Mud Shark a little less than a year ago in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for 88.75 points and a round win. It wasn’t a cakewalk. Aparecido had to work hard to get there, and to date he’s the only right-handed rider who has ridden the bull. There’s a chance for a repeat here, but it won’t be easy.
Valdiron de Oliveira on 1212 Gambini:
With a career record of 21-3 and 13-1 at the PBR’s premier level, this isn’t the hardest bull in this round, but he’s far from the easiest. On the other hand, Oliveira looks as good now as he did in his prime. He’s ridden 9-of-10 bulls he’s been on this year. Although he didn’t win any of the first three events, he was in the hunt at all three and is currently sixth in the standings. This will be a test for him, but lately he’s been passing all tests.
Claudio Montanha on 35 Spotted Demon:
Spotted Demon has had a long career, and he’s been a thorn in the side of many riders the entire time. He’s 57-5 in his career and 32-3 at this level. Many bulls tend to get easier as the ride goes on, but Spotted Demon seems to get progressively more difficult, especially when he goes to the right. Montanha is the underdog here, but this is a bull that makes an underdog of every rider.
Ryan Dirteater on 397A Frequent Flyer:
Frequent Flyer was the 2015 ABBI Futurity Champion. Over the past two seasons he’s been pretty successful with riders aboard as well. He’s 15-0 against all opponents. He’s thrown Jess Lockwood off twice, and Sage Kimzey, Joao Ricardo Vieira and Gage Gay are among his other victims. Dirteater has ridden well of late, but he’ll have to break this bull’s unridden streak to get a score here.
Cooper Davis on 2125 Wicked Stick:
This bull can spin either way, but he likes the right, and if he goes that way Davis has an excellent chance at a score. Wicked Stick was the 2016 ABBI Classic Champion as a 4-year-old, and he has only given up four rides in a 40-out career. His difficulty comes from his style. He doesn’t do much to help the rider stay forward, and because of this he’s extremely difficult when he goes away from the rider’s hand.
Dener Barbosa on 362A Heartbreak Kid:
Barbosa has apparently been on the same diet as Valdiron de Oliveira because both riders have been near perfect all season. Barbosa has ridden 10-of-11, and, like Oliveira, he doesn’t have an event win to show for it. This bull will be his toughest opponent of the season. Heartbreak Kid is hard to ride and his record shows it. He has the occasional off day, and on one of those off days he was ridden, but he’s 29-1 overall and 9-0 at this level.
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