ST. LOUIS – With only 10 guys making the whistle Saturday night, this event is still wide open. The championship round features several bulls we saw last week in Kansas City, Missouri, with the addition of Pearl Harbor and Smooth Operator. The key matchups to watch in the championship round will be the two highest ranked left-handed riders on Big Dutch and Shownuff, and the highest ranked right-handed rider on Catfish John. If they don’t get picked that way, then the riders are getting bad advice somewhere.
Brennon Eldred on 345 The Rising Sun:
Rising Sun is a snappy bull who has some kick, some speed, and a lot of centrifugal force. He can reverse the spin any time, and regularly does. His weakness is that he doesn’t get his front feet very high off the ground and he has near perfect timing. This means he can’t easily punish riders who don’t get back to the front every jump, and that may be the most common rider mistake. As a result, he’s been ridden more often than he’s bucked guys off at this level, and Eldred has a great chance at a second score here.
Claudio Montanha Jr. on 104 Moto Moto:
This is a veteran bull who has long been a good fit for right-handed riders. He doesn’t follow a pattern, and he bucks hard, but he’s honest and can be ridden. Montanha must ride him here or go home for the weekend.
Colten Jesse on 1201 Shelley’s Gangster:
It’s all or nothing for Jesse here. He bucked off in Round 1, but he got an excellent second chance with this bull. Shelley’s Gangster can possibly deliver a round win, goes to the left, and he’s 1-4 against left-handed riders. He has big jumps, big moves and shows well, but he also has great timing and that gives Jesse a shot at a second round win.
Alex Marcilio on A6 Church Bells:
Marcilio didn’t get on the board last night, but he could jump right back in with this bull under him. Church Bells is one of the better draws at this event. He’s a bull Marcilio could be 87 or more points on, and he’s very good to ride for a bull worth that kind of score. He jumps high and spends a lot of time in the air, which gives the rider plenty of time to adjust his position every jump.
Paulo Lima on 114 Blue Magic:
This probably isn’t the bull Lima would have picked if he had seen them all. Blue Magic is out of line, and somewhat crazy. He’s reminiscent of Shepherd Hills Trapper in that he has a lot of head movement, he can throw some mean rolls, and turn back rather unexpectedly any which way. He doesn’t really fit the blueprint of a bull that riders like to draw. He is rideable, but it will take a lot of work and hustle to get by him.
Ramon de Lima on A14 Element 79:
These two met at the World Finals, and Lima was 85 points there. This is a prototypical pattern bull that spins to the left and doesn’t really throw anything weird at the rider. He’s a solid performer, but every bull with a set pattern and good timing is apt to get ridden at this level. Lima could easily put a second score on the board here.
Jess Lockwood on 414 Uncle Keith:
This is a brand-new bull with little history to go by, but in two career outs on record outside the PBR he’s given up two rides. He should be a considerably easier draw than Lockwood faced last night and a chance for Lockwood to get something done this weekend.
Lindomar Lino on 312 Relentless:
Lino is in better shape than most riders here with one score already posted. To get another he will have to ride this very solid and consistent bull going away from his riding hand. Relentless is rideable, but he’s been much harder on right-handed riders. Cooper Davis is the only righty who has ridden him.
Luciano de Castro on 212 Locke & Loaded:
Stormy Wing won a round in Tacoma on this bull last year, and the bull went to the right – away from Wing’s hand. Castro has a shot here, but this isn’t the easiest bull out today. He’s been ridden five times in 16 UTB level outs. Castro put up 85.5 points last night, and that won’t necessarily guarantee him a championship go bull, so he needs another score to be sure.
Derek Kolbaba on 331 Uncle Si:
This bull has yet to be ridden by anyone, but he only has six outs on his record. His bull scores at this level make him look like a hit or miss kind of bull. He’s had a couple of sub-par performances, but he was marked exactly the same as Pearl Harbor at Colorado Springs last season. What happens here is anyone’s guess, but Kolbaba won’t be under a lot of pressure. He can still win the event if he bucks off here, but you can bet he’s aiming higher than that.
Bryan Titman on 361 Hedoo:
It’s been a while since we’ve seen Titman on tour, but he may be a dark horse today. Hedoo is one of the best draws in the event for a right-handed rider, and Titman certainly has the talent to get the job done. This bull is a lighter and nicer version of Beaver Creek Beau, and he lacks the element that make Beau hard to ride. He can deliver ride scores of 90 points at times, and he has an even record against righties in his career.
© 2018 PBR Inc. All rights reserved.