LAS VEGAS – Luck of the draw in bull riding used to mean that guys would go to 100 rodeos in a year and maybe draw 50 bulls that he had any chance to win first place on. Nowadays it is more about a rider drawing a bull that fits him.
In most Built Ford Tough Series events almost all the bulls are very good. In this round of 25 they are excellent. Every bull in here is outstanding, but still some of the matchups favor the riders more than others.
J.B. Mauney and Jess Lockwood are the two biggest lottery losers in this round from that angle. Mauney’s bull Moleek is fairly new, but unridden. Lockwood has Hey Jack here, a bull that has been ridden once in 17 BFTS outs. Both riders are more than capable of stepping up and riding any bull here. Every rider here just needs to make the whistle in this round to advance, and Mauney and Lockwood face a tougher task than some of the other riders.
Gage Gay on 219 Tractor Tippin’
Gay is 1-for-2 on Tractor Tippin’ this season, and this is a great draw for right-handed riders in general. He’s 4-5 against them. This bull can go either way, but he likes the right. He’s a lot like the bull Gay had last night, but with more up and down.
Cody Teel on 1037 Cooper Tires Brown Sugar:
Brown Sugar isn’t a guaranteed win for anyone, but he is the best draw in all the land no matter what other bulls are in the mix. He’s been kinder to right-handed riders throughout his career as well. He can cover some ground before turning back, and that gets quite a few riders, but even with that no rider here would be unhappy to draw him. He’s a quality bull with a style that fits every rider, and he’s good enough at the game to win most matchups. Although he has a slightly different style, for all practical purposes he is a light version of SweetPro’s Bruiser.
Joao Ricardo Vieira on 922 Modified Clyde:
Vieira is 2-0 against Clyde, and there’s a good chance he will make that 3-0 tonight. Clyde is the prototypical speedy spinner kind of bull. He’s been better to left-handed riders throughout his career, but he can go to the right at times, and that will be the biggest factor here.
Brennon Eldred on 143 Bad Moon Rising:
Eldred made a flawless ride last night, and if he can be mistake free here he will advance out of this round. Bad Moon Rising consistently goes to the left, which will be away from Eldred’s hand, but he has even timing and he’s not particularly fast. He leaves riders a generous amount of time to react and adjust because he gets in the air a little more than other bulls.
Mason Lowe on 125 Catfish John:
This bull isn’t a pushover, but he’s a good draw for right-handed riders, and Lowe has ridden him before. They met way back in 2013 at a rodeo in Medford, Wisconsin. The last three times this bull has been ridden it was for an average of 89.7 points. One of those rides earned Eduardo Aparecido a win and $138,766 at the Iron Cowboy, and another earned Cooper Davis a round win at the World Finals, and sealed the deal on his World Championship.
Marco Eguchi on 017 Crazy Horse:
Eguchi bucked off this bull last year in Nashville, but don’t look for a repeat of that tonight. Eguchi should win this matchup eight times out of ten. He took the bull to the 7.76 second mark the first time they met, and he should get the job done here.
Matt Triplett on 532 Grey Spirit:
Triplett had serious fundamental form issues last night and it cost him the whistle in Round 1. If he can keep his back straight he has a good chance against this bull, but if he comes out hunched over like he did last night he’ll struggle. This is a relatively new bull who can have some forward movement and he will be less tolerant of a rider with a hump in his back than the bull Triplett had Friday.
Kaique Pacheco on 954 Machinery Auctioneers Lil Joe:
This bull should be a good fit for Pacheco. Lil Joe has been ridden 14 times in 52 career outs, and 9 of those rides have gone to right-handed Brazilian riders. So, Pacheco, being both Brazilian and right-handed, has drawn what may be the best fit in all the PBR for him.
Eduardo Aparecido on -127 Cooper’s Comet:
This is without a doubt the marquee matchup of this round. This is a very good bull who also happens to be a very good fit for right-handed riders. He’s been ridden three times this year - twice by Shane Proctor and once by Triplett. This won’t be easy for Aparecido, but it could easily turn into a Round 2 win for him.
Stormy Wing on 100 Nailed:
Ty Murray and Justin McBride mentioned several times last night that the correct way to handle a bull that spins is not to worry about the spinning part. They are 100% correct. Although bulls do have centrifugal force, riders are supposed to deal with that subconsciously. Many spinning bulls don’t have a significant amount of centrifugal force or their style doesn’t apply it to maximum effect. However, some do, and this bull Nailed, and the next two bulls in this article are quite good at leveraging centrifugal force to get riders on the ground.
The bull Brennon Eldred has tonight - Bad Moon Rising - is a good example of a bull where centrifugal force isn’t a big factor. He tends to have high jumps and not so much speed. The amount of rider correction to account for his spin is usually tiny and if the rider misses it slightly there is ample time to adjust and get back in the pocket. The difference for Nailed is that he stays a little closer to the ground, has more speed, and really never gathers himself - he’s always going right. The amount of correction needed is a little more, and he leaves almost no window to recover from error. To the eye, bulls like this look like they are putting more of their effort into spinning than anything else. Bulls of this type often turn out to be harder to ride than they look, and the reason for that is that they require a more severe subconscious correction from the rider than most riders are used to making, and it can result in the rider over-correcting and going off in the well (Palm Spings, Boot Jack), or getting pitched to the outside (Smackdown, Smooth Operator). To the rider it feels like the difference between driving a car around a banked curve versus one that isn’t banked as much.
Wing has a shot here. Nailed is a good draw, but he is strong and relentless, and he likes to go to the right which will be away from Wing’s hand.
Ryan Dirteater on 136 Uncle Tink:
All of the above applies to Uncle Tink. He’s a consistent bull who looks like he should be ridden often, but he’s only been ridden five times in 26 BFTS outs, and none this season. Almost all of his buckoffs are due to the fact that he keeps the pressure on in the spin, and eventually the rider misses the correction for his spin. He should go into Dirteater’s hand, which makes it a little easier to deal with.
Silvano Alves on -915 Hammer Down:
Same thing with Hammer Down. He’s definitely a good draw for right-handed riders, but once he goes into a spin he’s bearing down to the right every jump. This bull is a lot like Nailed, but he is a little wilder and usually goes a little further before turning back. He’s a very good fit for Alves.
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