Jess Lockwood and Cooper Davis have the chance to advance in the World Championship race here, and the rest of the Top 5 riders are one bull down going into day two.
Chase Outlaw on 83A Wild Goose:
Outlaw certainly drew deeper than anyone else here. He had Fearless in Round 1 and came down at 7.2 for what would have been a round win. Wild Goose is equally difficult, and the key factor for Outlaw is the same. He can’t let this bull get his riding arm straight. This is easier said than done. This is another feast or famine matchup for Outlaw.
Cody Nance on -400 Oz:
Nance bucked off in Round 1 but has a good draw here. Oz is a bull most riders, especially left-handed riders, would love to have in any long round, but he’s good enough to beat most guys who try him. This bull has good timing and a predictable pattern, but he puts all his effort into generating centrifugal force in the spin. He’s pretty good at this, and Nance will have to stay in the sweet spot. He can’t afford to get off-center on this bull.
Jose Vitor Leme on 50 ZZ Top:
Leme may have come down last night, but he’s on top of the standings because he doesn’t make a habit of staying down. This is a solid long round bull who is rideable, and any bull who fits that description is unlikely to get Leme on the ground.
Dalton Kasel on 4C Audacious:
Audacious is a great draw for a lefty. He’s 2-3 against left-handed riders, and he’s delivered a couple of 88-plus-point scores this year. Kasel has bucked off two similar bulls in a row now. Last night, and in the short round in Minneapolis. He was a little stiff on both bulls. He could easily loosen up and pick up a big score here.
Jess Lockwood on -274 Honky Tonk Flame:
This is a relatively unknown bull, so there’s no way to tell how this will go. Lockwood had a little-known bull last night and did pretty well – placing second in the round. More importantly, he’s got a jump on Leme in the aggregate, and staying on all his bulls here and winning the event would be huge for him.
Joao Ricardo Vieira on 407 Buffalo Scott:
In both long rounds, there are bulls that have high-end short round levels of difficulty, but this isn’t one of them. Buffalo Scott is below the average long round bull in terms of difficulty. Dakota Buttar rode him in Fairfax for 86.75 points. This bull can go both ways, but Vieira is likely to win this match.
Luciano de Castro on Z50 Bugle Boy:
This is an interesting matchup. Bugle Boy is rideable, but he can be wonky. He doesn’t have perfect timing and he relies on getting riders out of time and yanking them around because of it. Castro’s riding style should be his kryptonite though. Castro does well on this kind of bull.
Mason Taylor on 4596 Dang It:
Taylor has a shot at a second score here. He went 2-for-2 in Minneapolis last week and may do it again today. Dang It may go away from Taylor’s hand, but he has even timing and is one of the more rideable bulls in this round. He’s 2-4 at the UTB level in his career.
Cooper Davis on 464 Calico Kickin’
Davis won the first round with 88 points. He may not win this round, but if he can deal with a bull away from his hand, he may be able to keep the event lead or at least stay near the top. This is a rideable bull, but more so for lefties. He’s 4-1 against right-handed guys. This doesn’t necessarily give him the advantage against Davis, who is pretty good on bulls that go away from his hand.
Ezekiel Mitchell on -1 Lefty:
Mitchell will be tested here. Lefty isn’t normally a short round bull, but he brings short round-level difficulty. He’s equally effective against every kind of rider. His buckoff percentage is around 87.5 percent, and it’s the same against the top riders he’s faced. Joe Frost and Joao Ricardo Vieira rode him this season, but overall, Lefty is 12-2 this year.