Cody Nance on 111 Black Rose:
Nance may have the best draw in the round, particularly for a left-handed rider. Black Rose is 3-4 at the premier level and he’s 5-6 against lefties in his career. This is a bull with a lot of action and flash, but his style makes him easy to ride relative to his performance level. He has no forward movement, and while he doesn’t have perfect timing, he gives the rider enough help to get past any skip in his rhythm. Nance has a great chance at a score good enough to place well in this round.
Dener Barbosa on 1400 Little Bob:
Little Bob is going up against a giant here. Barbosa has been on a tear this season like no other rider. This bull has just four outs on his record, but he’s given up one qualified ride and let two others make it past the 7-second mark. Even a more proven bull with a long record of throwing off 75 percent of his opponents would be an underdog against Barbosa right now.
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Jess Lockwood on 1206 Cut the Cord:
This match features arguably the best bull and the best rider in this round. Lockwood is the reigning World Champion, and Cut the Cord on any given day could be the best in this pen. The difficulty for Lockwood is that this bull normally goes to the right, and he’s 18-1 against lefties in his career. Gage Gay won New York on this bull with a 90-point championship round ride. There is big-ride potential here.
Brennon Eldred on 514B Constant Sorrow:
Eldred has been riding below his normal pace since the World Finals, and he hasn’t drawn all that well so far this season. In five events this season, he’s ridden his opening-round bull in just one. This bull may help set him back on the right track. Constant Sorrow has just one out at this level, and he was ridden by Cody Campbell in Chicago.
Silvano Alves on 243 Breaking Bad:
Breaking Bad actually made his premier level debut at the World Finals where he gave up an 89.75-point ride to Jess Lockwood. He’s been ridden in four of six outs at this level, but he has 24 other unridden outs before coming to the PBR, and he has yet to give up a ride to a left-handed rider. Alves is capable of getting the job done, but it will take Alves at his best to get it done. This bull is the polar opposite of Black Rose. He moves forward a lot, doesn’t do much to help the rider and he’s as white as Black Rose is black.
Stetson Lawrence on 2125 Wicked Stick:
Like Cut the Cord, this is one of the top bulls in this round. He’s a little more on the difficult side for a long-round bull. He rates near the average difficulty level of a championship-round bull, but he’s in the long round here. Alves rode him in Anaheim, California, for 88 points. If Lawrence can beat the odds here, he could win the round. Lawrence has a knack for coming up big when the bull should be a huge favorite, so this could turn into a big match.
Luciano de Castro on 30 Springer Mountain:
This isn’t one of the best draws in this round by the numbers, but he may be a good fit for Castro. He’s a long, rangy bull that really stretches out when he bucks, and he doesn’t really have a set pattern that he follows every time. From what we’ve seen of Castro, he should be the perfect match for this kind of bull. Springer Mountain can deliver a big score on his best day, but he’s somewhat unpredictable because he doesn’t have that kind of trip every time.
Colten Jesse on 100 Nailed:
Nailed has been the highlight reel bull in the PBR since he first appeared at the premier level at the 2016 World Finals. He’s been ridden in 13 of 20 outs, and usually for good scores. He’s carried a lot of riders to the pay window. Newcomer Jesse drew really well here, except that he’s left-handed. Nailed is far nicer to right-handed riders. He did give up a ride to lefty Cody Nance in Kansas City, Missouri, last weekend.
Brady Oleson on 3 Stuntman Ray:
This bull came out of Canada, and Oleson has been to a lot of Canadian events. The Idaho native is probably more familiar with this bull than most guys here. Ray can be hard to ride. He has a lot of up and down and a choppy rhythm that shakes most opponents loose. He’s been ridden just once since moving up to the PBR’s top level – Kaique Pacheco was 88.5 points on him at the World Finals.
Keyshawn Whitehorse on 219 Tractor Tippin’:
Tractor Tippin’ is one of the better draws in this round. He’s been ridden eight times in 19 attempts at this level. He likes to go to the right, and he’s been better to right-handed riders. Whitehorse has a good chance, but he will have to weather a storm. This bull has a lot of power. He can really yank on a rider’s arm, and on top of that he can break his timing and set a guy up. Almost every man who has ridden him is a world-class talent at riding bulls through rough patches, and Whitehorse will have to do the same to get a score here.
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