ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. ― The riders managed to get just over half the bulls ridden in Tacoma, Wash., last week. That won’t happen here. This pen of bulls is quite a bit stouter on the bottom end and getting a score will be tougher.
Billy Robinson on 982 Ceiling Bioscience’s Jukebox Hero:
This is a rematch. Robinson earned 87.75 points on Hero at the Last Cowboy Standing in May last year. This is a smooth bull that goes to the left and is ridden quite a bit. Very few bulls are ridden more often in fact, but there is one other bull in this round that is statistically weaker against riders at this level.
Kasey Hayes puts up 87.5 points on Celling Bioscience’s Jukebox Hero in Round 2 of the 2014 BFTS St. Louis Invitational, presented by Cooper Tires, in St. Louis, Mo.
Markus Mariluch on 84 Megaton:
Megaton has been ridden in nearly half his Built Ford Tough Series outs, and he’s been ridden significantly more often by right-handed riders. He doesn’t necessarily always go to the right, but in his case, most of the best riders he’s faced have been right-handed. This is a bull that will stay close to the ground and use speed to try and spin out from under a guy, but he has even timing and if Mariluch can find the sweet spot on him he will get a score easily here.
Stormy Wing on 707 Strokin’
Strokin is another bull who’s stat sheet doesn’t tell the whole story. He tends to spin to the right, but has been ridden more often by left-handed guys. He’s also been ridden in five of his last six outs at all levels and in 6-of- 11 Built Ford Tough Series outs. All this adds up to a bull that has very good timing and should be ridden at this level regardless of which way he spins. Wing shouldn’t have a problem with him.
Tanner Byrne on 58X Long John:
This is one of the more interesting matchups in this round. The last time we saw Long John, he basically bounced L.J. Jenkins around like he was a Harlem Globetrotter and Jenkins was the ball. More impressively, he did it in five jumps straight down the pen. He didn’t even hint at spinning or turning in any direction and he still earned a 43-point bull score. This bull has some serious up and down – he’s a crowd pleaser. Byrne is a big kid, and everyone who watches bull riding has heard a million times how it’s harder for taller guys to ride bulls. But, if taller guys have anything going for them, it’s that they can deal with this type of bull better than little guys do. Byrne rides with his knees a lot, and keeps his upper body in good position, and having longer legs and more knee up front really helps on a bull like this.
Jason Malone on 97 Black Friday:
Malone is one of the hardest working guys at the Touring Pro Division level. He logs a lot of miles trying to get qualified for the Built Ford Tough Series and he stays right on the bubble a lot. So, this is a big opportunity for him, and he’s really drawn well in the opening round. J.B. Mauney and Robson Palermo are the only two guys to have ridden Black Friday – and they got high 80’s scores. Malone is left-handed and this bull should spin into his hand and fit him well. He’s got a shot at placing high in the round here and earning some points to help him stay on tour.
Marco Eguchi on 7437 Hot Toddy:
This bull used to belong to Tom Teague and we saw Hot Toddy on tour quite a bit in 2012 and early 2013. Eguchi rode him in February 2012 for 86.5 points in Atlanta. Overall, Hot Toddy has been kinder to right-handed guys. Five of the six rides he’s allowed have gone to right-handed riders.
Silvano Alves on +2/7 Red Man:
Red Man is the most often ridden bull in this round, if not in the PBR today. He’s been ridden 19 times in 25 Built Ford Tough Series outs. Alves has had him once each season since 2011. He’s ridden him every time as well. Red Man is one of the best draws in the PBR because while he’s relatively easy to ride, he does produce great scores.
Silvano Alves puts up 88.25 points on Red Man in Round 1 of the 2013 BFTS Table Mountain Casino Invitational in Fresno, Calif.
David Mason on W36 Hustle Up:
Hustle up has been ridden in five of his last six PBR outs, and he’s been ridden more often by lefties than righties. He has some power and doesn’t rely strictly on spinning to loosen guys up. Mason should be able to deal with him and get a score on the board.
Valdiron de Oliveira on 2W Duck Butter:
Oliveira is riding right at 70 percent over the past five events he’s been to and is at 60 percent for the year at Built Ford Tough Series events. This bull has a respectable record, but he’s been weak against the top tier riders. Oliveira is definitely a top tier rider, especially right now.
Douglas Duncan on 620 Blonde Bomber:
They met last year in Tulsa, Okla., and Duncan came down at about the four-second mark. Blonde Bomber goes to the right and is a pretty powerful bull. He doesn’t stay in a tight spin. Blonde Bomber will loosen up and go into a circle pattern at times, but he never quits yanking on the riders arm. He’s from Duncan’s part of the country, and Duncan is probably pretty familiar with him, but he’s still going to have to work hard to get a score here.
Follow Slade Long on Twitter @ProBullStats
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