ANAHEIM, Calif. – Eleven riders stayed on Friday night, and Stetson Lawrence and Ryan Dirteater split the round with 87.5 points. Given the bullpen of bulls we will see in Round 2, it should take more than that to win today. There are a lot of good matchups in the second round, and the event is still wide open.
Fifteen riders will make the championship round, where there are about five bulls that zero riders want any part of. The guys who already have one score are all but guaranteed to end up in the Top 10, giving them a huge advantage in the championship round. Bruiser and Pearl Harbor will square off again in the championship round as well.
Round 2 Matchups:
Ryan Dirteater on 02 Beaver Creek Beau:
This is the most interesting matchup in the round for several reasons. Dirteater won the opening round last night, only to hit a wall called Beaver Creek Beau in the draw today. Beau really isn’t nice to left- handed riders. He’s had a long and distinguished career, and his record is 39-1 against them.
Guess who is responsible for the one ride? That’s right – Ryan Dirteater. They met twice way back in 2013, and Dirteater was 88 points in their first meeting. This was when Beau was a youngster, before his first premier tour appearance, and he was a different bull than he is today. Dirteater has a history of knocking out big rides when the odds are against him, and they are really against him here despite his past success on this bull.
Cody Nance on 312 Relentless:
Nance is in good shape here. He had a good score in the first round, and he has a great chance of getting a second one here. Jess Lockwood rode Relentless last week in Sacramento, California, for 87.25 points. The bull scored 42.25 of those points, and one could argue that a couple of the judges were too generous to him. We have seen this bull have better trips than he did last week, but he always has great timing and usually goes to the left. This should be an automatic win for Nance.
Brady Oleson on 204 Deep Water:
This is Oleson’s first Unleash The Beast event, and he rode his first bull last night. You may not have heard of this guy before, but he’s worth keeping an eye on. He has a classic riding style and a great sense of balance. He doesn’t really have a hole in his game. If he has a bad habit, it’s that he skips getting back to the front end every jump on bulls that will let him get away with it, but you see this a lot in riders who have exceptional balance. Deep Water will be a test for him. We’ve seen this bull be as rank as the World Champion bull contenders, but he’s given up scores in his last three outs, most recently to Cody Teel last week. He’s not a cookie cutter bull who is the same every time.
Dener Barbosa on K03 Frostywhirl:
Barbosa has ridden 81 percent of his bulls so far this season, and there’s no reason to suspect he won’t ride this one. Frostywhirl bucked off Derek Kolbaba in Round 1, but he’s been to plenty of rodeos and he’s given up qualified rides when he has faced the top tier riders.
Silvano Alves on 116X Wolverine:
We don’t see this bull often, but he has been around the PBR for a few years, and he’s been ridden eight times in 16 outs. Guilherme Marchi rode him in Glendale in 2016 for 86 points, and if he has the same trip here with Alves, there is little chance he will get Alves on the ground. Bulls who have ever been ridden before, and most bulls who are unridden but haven’t faced high-level riders yet, should be considered underdogs against Alves. If you bet on Alves using this formula from 2011 through 2014, you would have won a lot of money. Since then, Alves fell into a habit of beating himself at times, but you cannot discount his natural talent.
Paulo Lima on +219 Blue Stone:
Although Lima bucked off last night, you can’t overlook the guys who have the best bulls in any round. Blue Stone is one of the best bulls in this round, and one of the best bulls to draw as well. We’ve seen him four times at the premier tour level, and he’s given up rides of 88 and 90 points. On top of that, he should spin into Lima’s hand.
Luciano de Castro on 12 I Always Stand:
This is an older bull who is smart, feels for the rider, and won’t keep bucking away in one spot and let himself be ridden if he can help it. He’s got the difficulty of a top championship- ound bull, but he’s in the long round. All of that adds up to him not being the best possible draw for Castro to get a second score on. This will be a real test for Castro.
Brennon Eldred on 160 Ringeye:
Eldred is already on the board, and he matches up well with this bull. Ringeye only has two outs on record, but he’s been ridden in both of them, and he likes to go to the right. He has a lot of action, but doesn’t have a lot of power, and that kind of style always benefits the rider.
Guilherme Marchi on 00 Set ‘Em Up Joe:
Like Lima, Lockwood and Campbell, Marchi came down in the first round, but he has a chance to redeem himself against one of the best bulls in the draw today. Cooper Davis made a picture perfect ride on Joe at the Global Cup event in Edmonton, and the bull has been ridden twice since then. Marchi couldn’t have drawn better here.
Eduardo Aparecido on 270 Ground Control:
Aparecido probably won’t be able to win the round on this bull, but he has an excellent chance at a second score. Ground Control is 9-6 against right-handed riders, and 8-0 against lefties, and that’s a pretty good indicator that he’s going to the right.
Jess Lockwood on 311X Blue Gangster:
Lockwood was 87.25 points on Blue Gangster in New York in 2017, and a score like that could put him back in contention here. This bull has given up three rides in five premier level outs.
Cody Campbell on X18 More Big Bucks:
More Big Bucks has made a lot of headlines by carrying riders to the pay window. He’s been a championship-round bull at his last five regular season events, and he’s one of the best available bulls to draw at this event. The downside for Campbell is that throughout this bull’s career he’s been much more rideable for left-handed riders because he usually goes to the left. He’s been ridden a ridiculous number of times when he spins into the rider’s hand, but when he spins away he’s as efficient as any short-round bull at throwing guys off.
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