TACOMA, Wash. -- The 15/15 round tonight could turn out to be one of the best ever. There are a lot of marquee matchups, and it’s not often that a bonus round draws up that way. We could see some big rides, and we are almost sure to see a lot of rides in the 15/15.
Cody Heffernan on 000 Dennis the Menace:
This is statistically the easiest bull in the round to ride, and since he goes to the right, he’s a particularly good fit for right-handed Heffernan. His record is a little deceptive. He’s not always a pushover. Ha can have a hard corner at times, but typically he comes out of a left-hand delivery and will follow the gate around and spin to the right.
Jess Lockwood on 2-1 Mortimer:
This is surely the best matchup in the first round. Mortimer has been very good to the top tier riders – he’s 5-10 against them. Lockwood was 90.5 points on him at a lower level event last summer. The current World Champ on one of the best draws here.
Ramon de Lima on W43 War Cry:
Lima has a challenge here. War Cry is ridden pretty often, but only by right-handed riders. He’s 11-0 against lefties. The biggest difficulty with him is that he doesn’t stay in a tight spin. He tends to open up and buck in a bigger circle while occasionally moving forward. This creates a tough situation when he goes away from the rider’s hand, and that’s what Lima will have to overcome.
Cooper Davis on W57 Blackberry Smoke:
By the numbers this may be the second easiest bull out in round one. He is likely to spin away from Davis’ hand, but that shouldn’t be too much for Davis to overcome. Blackberry Smoke has a very methodical style and he telegraphs everything he’s going to do. He is strong, and when ridden he usually produces a good score.
Fabiano Vieira on 922 Modified Clyde:
Modified Clyde and 2125 Wicked Stick are the two best bulls out in the opening round performance-wise. Keyshawn Whitehorse has Wicked Stick. Clyde is by far the better to ride of the two, and he’s been best for left-handed riders as well.
Brock Radford on Y1 Crazy Days:
This bull is similar to Blackberry Smoke in that he has a methodical style, and there’s no guessing what he’s going to do next. The big differences here are that he can hesitate, and his timing isn’t as steady, and he should spin into Radford’s hand. The timing issues give Crazy Days a better buckoff record than Blackberry Smoke.
Tanner Byrne on 345 Rising Sun:
This is certainly one of the best draws in the 15/15 round, and he’s an all-around quality bull. He’s more rideable than most short round caliber bulls, and he has a style that a taller rider like Byrne can get along with. Rising Sun had the best out of his career in Sioux Falls, putting down Claudio Montanha in under four seconds.
Stetson Lawrence on 14Y Indian Medicine:
Lawrence bucked off this bull in Sacramento, and the odds are somewhat against him because Indian Medicine likes to spin to the right. However, Lawrence is good away from his hand, and he’s ridden a lot of bulls that he was an underdog against.
Brennon Eldred on -247 Red Bandana:
This is a solid draw who can go either way, and he’s just as good either way. Jose Vitor Leme was 89 points on him last week in Sioux Falls. This is an even matchup. Eldred is plenty talented enough to get the job done, but this bull can be good enough to throw any rider here on any given day.
Ryan Dirteater on 806 Speed Demon:
This is probably the least desirable draw of the bunch, and I was somewhat stunned that Silvano Alves picked him in the short round ahead of several other bulls. Speed Demon is a rank bull, but he’s a little squirrelly and he isn’t a good fit for anyone. If Dirteater can keep his hand and maybe his eyes closed and hang on to this little rocket he will get a big score, but it’s not going to be fun or easy.
Kaique Pacheco on 35 Spotted Demon:
Pacheco is one of only few guys to have ridden this bull before, and he did it for 90 points at the Last Cowboy Standing in Las Vegas last season. Spotted Demon is a safe bet to buck anyone off any time, but he will find Pacheco tougher to get rid of than most riders.
Cooper Davis on 125 Catfish John:
Davis is 4 for 4 on Catfish John, and he clinched his World Championship on him in 2016. This is a top tier short round caliber bull that most right-handed riders get along with well. Davis has dominated him thus far for an average score of right at 90 points each time.
Jess Lockwood on 1149 Pearl Harbor:
The current World Champion against the best bull here in Tacoma is exactly the kind of matchup the PBR was originally designed to create. These two haven’t met before, and Lockwood is probably looking forward to this. Pearl Harbor will not be an easy nut to crack, but this could turn into the biggest ride of the year thus far.
Eduardo Aparecido on -904 Fire & Smoke:
Aparecido is 0-4 against this bull, and Fire & Smoke has dominated right-handed riders his entire career. He’s 37-1 against them. While a lot of riders drew well in this round, Aparecido did not.
Claudio Montanha on 02 Beaver Creek Beau:
Montanha is right-handed, and that is the only thing that gives him a shot here. His riding style isn’t the greatest fit for this veteran bull. Beaver Creek Beau is really strong, and he’s pretty much impossible for left-handed guys. He’s 41-1 against lefties, and 47-10 against righties. The guys who have ridden him have had to fight the whole way. He’s one of the easiest bulls to fall off of in the PBR and has been for a very long time.
Jose Vitor Leme on 1201 Shelley’s Gangster:
It’s a toss up between this bull and More Big Bucks as to which is the best draw for a lefty in this round, and they both drew lefties. More Big Bucks can deliver a higher score, but Shelley’s Gangster is statistically easier to ride. Leme was 89 on him in Albuquerque and should pick up a big score here.
Luciano de Castro on 33 Livin’ Large:
Castro has a solid draw here that should fit his style, and he should be able to pick up a score. The problem is that there are any number of other matchups in this round that will produce bigger scores. Livin’ Large probably isn’t enough bull to win the round on.
Ramon de Lima on X18 More Big Bucks:
Lima can’t complain about this. If he were picking his bull in this round, this is probably the one he would pick. More Big Bucks is one of the best draws ever for left-handed riders, and Lima rode him in Sacramento earlier this year for 89.25 points.
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