Twelve riders already have two scores on the board, and another 14 have ridden one of two. It will almost certainly take two scores to get into the short round, and we will likely see several riders go in 3-for-3. The guys at the top of the leaderboard will have a nice advantage because there are only a handful of favorable draws in the short round draft while there are quite a few truly difficult bulls.
Alisson de Souza on 215 Roll of the Dice:
Souza has converted on both his bulls so far, and at the World Finals he got by the best bull of this event so far, Short Pop. He’s had two nice draws here, and handled his end. Roll of the Dice is not likely to slow Souza’s roll. He’s 5-8 against right-handed riders, and 2-10 at the UTB level overall. Look for Souza to get into the short round with three scores, and the bulls will get tougher there.
Cannon Cravens on 097 No Excuses:
Cravens split the opening round, but bucked off his second bull. He’s currently in 13th place, and he needs a ride here to secure a spot in the short round. No Excuses is a very rideable bull at this level of competition. He threw Alex Marcilio in Round 1 here, but he’s been ridden three out of five times at this level. Cravens has the edge here.
Jess Lockwood on 1017 Dream Catcher:
Lockwood is leading this event, and he’s likely to keep the lead for one more round with this draw. Dream Catcher is a sweet draw for a left-handed rider. He’s thrown 65 percent of the riders he’s faced, but only 37 percent of lefties.
Luciano de Castro on 3167 Mama’s Bad Pet:
Castro has his work cut out for him here. This isn’t a particularly strong bull, but he’s never given up a ride to a lefty for good reason. He lunges forward, doesn’t have a lot of kick, and he’s sort of uphill all the way. He likes to go to the right, and this type of bull is really hard to handle spinning away from your hand. Castro has two scores on the board, but this third one will be a chore.
Emilio Resende on 3 Stuntman Ray:
Resende couldn’t have drawn better. Stuntman Ray is not only one of the best possible draws for every right-handed rider, he’s an even better fit for Resende. Resende tends to ride with big moves — too big at times, but Ray is pretty tolerant of that kind of style. Look for a big ride here.
Chase Outlaw on A6 Kimes Jeans Church Bells:
Stetson Lawrence split the second-round win on this bull last night. Church Bells is a veteran bull who has been around for a few years. He’s a great draw for any rider at this level. He threw Outlaw off in 2017, but it’s becoming obvious that Outlaw isn’t the same guy he was in 2017. He’s much better.
Matt Triplett on 5N Bandit:
Jess Lockwood split the opening round win on this bull. It was the first time anyone had ridden Bandit in eleven career outs. Triplett nearly rode him in Benton, Pennsylvania, last season, and from what we saw Friday night, there’s no reason he can’t get it done here. Triplett has one score on the board, but he’s already out of the short go and has to get the whistle in Round 3 to advance.
Jose Vitor Leme on 361 Hedoo:
Hedoo is one of the better draws in this round. He’s not the best possible fit for Leme because he’s a little bucky and unpredictable. Leme doesn’t have much of a weakness in his game, but bulls that are slow, strong and indecisive have caused him to struggle before. Leme should be considered a big favorite here, but this bull could sneak up on him.
Cody Teel on 1448 Last Chance:
Teel needs a ride here to get into the short round, and he will probably get one. Last Chance has given up five qualified rides in seven career outs. He has some speed and is likely to go away from Teel’s hand, but Teel should win this match easily.
Stetson Lawrence on 94 Top Hat:
This is one of the least known bulls in the round. He threw Derek Kolbaba in Round 1, and he got Tanner Byrne and Kaique Pacheco last season. Lawrence is on a roll here, and he’s a lock to make the short round. The only thing left for him to accomplish here is to knock this one out and perhaps come up with a better dismount strategy.
Ramon de Lima on 303 Force Awaken:
Lima has two scores here, and he’s yet another guy who will probably get three. Force Awaken is vulnerable to right-handed riders. Lima has been on him twice and is 1 for 2 on him.
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