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Behind the Chutes: What We Learned, Round 3

LAS VEGAS – Here are three things we learned from Round 3 of the Built Ford Tough World Finals on Friday night at the Thomas & Mack Center.

Mauney wins Round 3 with second 90-point ride of the season

J.B. Mauney, the Built Ford Tough Series active leader in 90-point rides, hasn’t eclipsed the 90-point threshold this season as much as he is accustomed to, but on Friday night, the 2013 World Champion used his second 90-point ride of the season to win Round 3 and move into fourth overall in the event average.

Mauney rode Hou’s Back for 90.25 points after being awarded a re-ride seeing as Long Haired Outlaw failed to cooperate in the chute.

Beyond the score, the more impressive feat was the fact that Mauney was able to recover mid-ride and put forth the additional physical effort to counter Hou’s Back.

“Anytime you can be 90, I don’t care how many you’ve been, it still pumps you up,” Mauney said. “That bull had me there thrown off dead easy and that is what I wanted to show to myself and nobody else that I still have a second, third and fourth effort left in me. I am not going to coward out and take the easy route out. That is the only reason I rode that bull.”

The Mooresville, North Carolina, native added that knowing he rode in Round 1 made him remember he still had the confidence to fight to the 8-second whistle instead of bailing to soon.

“When you have been fighting your head and get a little out of shape you don’t think you have that confidence, it is real easy to pick your chin up and take the easy route out,” Mauney said.

It was Mauney’s first 90-point ride since covering Rango for 91.75 points in Duluth, Georgia. He has 55 career 90-point rides – the third most in PBR history.

Alves sticks to the course, takes over event lead

It is a numbers game for Silvano Alves and not one that involves ride scores.

Alves has taken over the World Finals event lead by being the only rider through three rounds to cover all three of his bulls after he turned down a re-ride option for the ninth time of the season following his 69-point ride on Here We Go Again.

“I wanted to ride a bull for 86, 87 points. I’m not the judge,” Alves said. “I don’t understand how all of that works. But I feel like I did my job by riding three bulls. I thought that was better than trying for a higher score. I feel like I’m doing my part in riding the bulls.”

Whether you agree or disagree with his strategy, Alves will head into Round 4 leading the event average by 63.75 points over Matt Triplett, who bruised his throat after being bucked off by Shepherd Hills Stockman in 6.59 seconds.

Yes, he actually lost ground on Joao Ricardo Vieira, who rode Dakota Hy Test for 87.50 points, in the world standings and he now trails the world leader by 770.94 points.

However, Alves has a one-ride lead on Vieira and would be the World Champion by 229.06 points.

“I did my part in riding the bull,” Alves said. “My bull went for less points than they usually do. If my bull went for more points it is not my part. My part is to ride the bulls I am on and that’s what I did.”

Championship pedigrees

2009 World Champion Kody Lostroh continued his gutsy effort of riding with a broken left ankle when he rode Compact for 90 points to place second in the round and jump to second in the event average.

Lostroh’s last two rides have been his highest-scored rides of the season.

On Wednesday, Lostroh said he had no exact answer for why he was putting his body through such pain.

“I wish I had a clear-cut answer, but it is just the decision I made,” he said. “I wanted to go and you always want to ride. Maybe I have been too optimistic about how my ankle is going to feel because it is 100 times worse than it is going to feel. But I don’t know, bull riding don’t make sense to begin with, so for me to question why I am here, shoot I am a bull rider and you can’t ever guess what we are going to do. It is fun. I like challenges. Sometimes it sucks when you are the guy that has to go through them but it is fun to come out on the other side.”

2010 World Champion Renato Nunes finished right behind Lostroh by riding Poker Face for 89 points. It is the first time Poker Face has been ridden in five career BFTS outs and 51-career professional outs.

“I come with very good confidence and I picked Poker Face and I saw the record of him and nobody rode him,” Nunes said. “I said ‘(shoot), maybe I was not thinking that good.’ I am so happy that it worked out for me and I hope it will work out the rest of the way for me.”

Nunes rode 5-of-6 in 2010 to win the World Finals event title and World Championship.

He admitted that is was hard at first to regain his focus after bucking off in the first two rounds.

“It is kind of hard to get excited after you get bucked off the first one and harder when you get bucked off the second,” Nunes said. “I still am here in the Finals and am so excited. I can win in this go round and I have three more go rounds to win. I can bring some money home.”

INJURY UPDATES

Mike Lee was bucked off by I’m Your Hucklebery (5.37 seconds) and his re-ride bull Hair Trigger (4.47 seconds) Friday and appeared to be favoring his left shoulder that he separated in Round 2 on Thursday when he was thrown hard on the ground by Circle T’s Crossfire in the second round.

Matt Triplett sustained a bruised throat when he was struck by the horn of Shepherd Hills Stockman during his attempt in the third round. He is probable for Round 4.

Fernando Henrique sustained a lacerated chin when he was struck by Braveheart’s head Friday. It was sutured in the sports medicine room.

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko.

BEHIND THE CHUTES: WHAT TO WATCH FOR ROUND 3 (10-24-14)

LAS VEGAS – The Built Ford Tough World Finals continues Friday with Round 3 and there will be plenty to keep an eye on inside the Thomas & Mack Center.

Here are some storylines to watch:

Lostroh setting the standard for toughness

Kody Lostroh sat on a table inside the Hall of Champions during Round 1 on Wednesday night grimacing in pain from his broken left ankle. He had just been helped out of the arena following a 3.6-second buckoff by Blue Grass.

A couple feet away, Lostroh’s picture is painted on the wall for his 2009 World Championship.

It was only five years ago that the Longmont, Colorado, native was on top of the world inside the Thomas & Mack Center winning his first world title.

Even though he can barely stand on his own inside the arena this week, Lostroh brought the crowd to its feet Thursday night when he rode The Rocker for 89.25 points despite his injury. He enters Round 3 fifth in the event average.

It was a cowboy effort from one of the classiest veterans on the Built Ford Tough Series.

“I’ve been asked a lot why I am doing this and how I feel so much that it has become mundane to say I am fine and move on,” Lostroh said. “I am not fine. It hurts like hell to do my job right now, but the fact is I have been hurt a lot over the last five years and I kind of got to the point where I am tired of it. I am just going to keep on doing what I can to keep going.”

Lostroh, who is taping his ankle and wearing a support brace in his riding boot, admitted that from the moment he nods his head he begins to feel pain in his ankle.

“Not going to lie and say I am Iron Man and that it don’t hurt and I don’t want to get off the whole time, but sometimes you reveal some character when you push yourself through something like that,” he said.

Smackdown begins his final World Finals

Amid all the celebration involving Bushwacker’s retirement, it is easy to forget about Smackdown retiring following the conclusion of the World Finals.

Tonight, Smackdown takes on Claudio Crisostomo, who rode I’m a Gangster Too for 87.25 points.

Crisostomo is battling a broken clavicle, but if he can make the 8-second mark aboard Smackdown he may be able to put himself back in the running for a shot at the World Finals event title.

Smackdown has been ridden five times this season and in 21-of-77 outs in his six-year career.

He has rewarded riders with a round victory 26 times. During last year’s World Finals, J.B. Mauney and Ryan Dirteater made the 8-second mark on him for 93.75 points and 90.75 points, respectively.

Can Joao Ricardo Vieira keep pace with Alves?

Joao Ricardo Vieira still is the No. 1 bull rider in the world standings, but he can’t afford to fall two bulls behind Alves in the event average. Vieira came through last night with a 90.25-point ride on Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey to give himself the second pick in the bull draft for Round 3.

Vieira selected Dakota Style’s HY Test, a bull that should fit him well, according to ProBullStats.com.

Alves is facing Here We Go Again for the first time in his career.

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko.

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