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Behind the Chutes: World Finals, Round 2

LAS VEGAS – Here are three things we learned from Round 2 of the Built Ford Tough World Finals on Thursday night at the Thomas & Mack Center.

Asteroid/Mick E Mouse in frontline for World Champion Bull title

Asteroid has been gaining steam as the leading contender for the 2014 World Champion Bull title and he did nothing but add to his case in Round 2 by bucking off Chase Outlaw in 2.63 seconds.

The 2012 World Champion Bull was marked 46.5 points, outscoring the rest of the World Champion Bull contenders.

It was the fourth time Asteroid has bested Outlaw and it comes three weeks following Asteroid’s 47-point showing in Biloxi, Mississippi, against Outlaw.

“All you have to know is that guy kicked tonight,” Outlaw said.

Below are the scores/buckoff times for the World Champion Bull contenders:

Asteroid bucks off Chase Outlaw in 2.63 seconds (46.5 points)

Mick E Mouse bucks off Eduardo Aparecido in 1.18 seconds (46 points)

Roy bucks off Marco Eguchi in 2.75 seconds (45.25 points)

Bushwacker bucks off Brady Sims in 3.9 seconds (45 points)

Jared Allen’s Air Time bucks off Renato Nunes in 3.91 seconds (44.5 points)

Fire & Smoke is ridden by Stetson Lawrence for 88.75 points (44.25 points)

I’m a Gangster Too is ridden by Claudio Crisostomo for 87.25 points (42.75 points)

Shepherd Hills Tested is ridden by Kasey Hayes for 79.25 points (42.25 points)

Mick E Mouse is right on Asteroid’s heels following his 46-point showing and he remains undefeated in his BFTS career (27-0).

“Well, he was good. He was. You can’t complain about 46 points and I hope he is better on Sunday,” said owner Marlene Henry.

Bushwacker will need to have his best out of the season Sunday if he hopes to end his career with his third World Champion Bull title.

However, he did buck off his 19th consecutive rider on Thursday night.

“I felt great through the hard stuff, but as soon as he did something and turned back, my foot kind of bounced out of it and that bull is way too good to bobble on,” Sims said. “I’ve got to give it to him.”

Triplett uses career-high 92 points to move into World Finals lead

Matt Triplett continues to try and storm his way into the world title race and did so Thursday with a career-high 92 points on Walk Off.

“I have watched that bull quite a bit, he bucks like that and gives it his all every time. That is why I knew we were going to match up and be great. We are both hard hitting fighters and that’s why I love bull riding so much. Those bulls have a mind of their own and they want to win just as much as we do.”

Stock contractor Jeff Robinson added, “That bull has been bucking guys off and the bull bucked really hard, but Matt stepped up and rode him as good as you could ride one. I was really impressed.”

Triplett is only the second rider to conquer Walk Off in 21 BFTS outs.

It is Triplett’s seventh consecutive ride in a row this month and he now sits 1,662.67-points behind world leader Joao Ricardo Vieira.

Triplett added that he is going to continue his new World Finals tradition of going to yoga on Friday morning.

Brazilian battle at the top of the world standings

Joao Ricardo Vieira made a bold claim before the start of the second round just before rider introductions.

Vieira said, “I will ride him (Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey) for 90-plus like last year.”

The 30-year-old, and No. 1 ranked bull rider in the world, followed up his guarantee on a night where he had to after bucking off in Round 1 Wednesday night.

Vieira found his seat on the bovine athlete and fell into a smooth rhythm for 90.25 points to move into fourth in the event average.  It is his fifth 90-plus point ride of the season, which is best on the BFTS.

More importantly, Vieira had to ride after Silvano Alves moved into second overall in the event average with an emphatic 87.75-point ride on Mr. Clark.

Alves is 21-of-26 in his career at World Finals.

“When I was in first I felt OK, but I think it is better to be coming from second in the standings going forward,” Alves said with Megan Bradford translating.

Vieira heads into Round 3 on Friday night with an improved 627.94 lead over Alves in the world standings, but still trails the two-time World Champion in the event average.

Fabiano Vieira bucked off for the second consecutive night – this time in 2.86 seconds by Born Sinner – and his chances of winning his first-career world title are slipping away. He remains 951.88 points off the world lead.

Guilherme Marchi, who is tied for 19th in the event average, was bucked off by Percolator in 4.8 seconds, and is now 1,373.44 points away from the top spot.

Mike Lee hit the ground hard during a 4.58-second buckoff attempting to ride Circle T’s Crossfire. Dr. Tandy Freeman has yet to release an official injury update on the 2004 World Champion.

He is behind by 1,521.44 points.

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko.

BEHIND THE CHUTES: WHAT TO WATCH FOR ROUND 2 (10-23-14)

LAS VEGAS – The bull riders hunting for the World Championship got their first stab on Wednesday night. Now the World Champion Bull contenders will get their initial opportunity to stake a claim at the 2014 title at the Thomas & Mack Center in Round 2 on Thursday night. Here are some storylines to keep an eye on in Round 1.

Sims ready for Bushwacker

Rookie Brady Sims knew right when announcer Matt West asked him what bull he preferred, that he had drawn the “old big red,” during Wednesday night’s bull draw for Round 2 of the Built Ford Tough World Finals.

It will be the first meeting between the two, and it will certainly be the tallest task of Sims’ young career. Bushwacker enters the match in pursuit of his third World Champion Bull title and he has bucked off all 12 of his BFTS foes this season, along with 62 out of 64 BFTS challengers in his six-year career.

“I wasn’t mad. I wasn’t disappointed. I was just kind of calm about the whole deal. I don’t know how to explain it,” Sims said.

Sims has a 33.96 percent riding average this year and is ranked 23rd in the world standings. The 21-year-old knows he is an underdog against the soon-to-be retired bull.

“I’ve been on rank ones before,” Sims said. “Now, granted, I haven’t been on anything half-way close to Bushwacker. I know my ability and I know how hard he bucks. I am feeling pretty confident rolling into it.”

Keep an eye on the other World Champion Bulls and their matchups competing in Round 2: Jared Allen’s Air Time vs. Renato Nunes; Roy vs. Marco Eguchi; Kasey Hayes vs. Shepherd Hills Tested; Ty Pozzobon vs. Fire & Smoke; Claudio Crisostomo vs. I’m a Gangster TooChase Outlaw vs. Asteroid; Eduardo Aparecido vs. Mick E Mouse.

Will rookies continue good start?

One reason Sims is confident heading into his matchup against Bushwacker is because he covered his first bull attempted in his World Finals debut on Wednesday night. The Holt, Missouri, bull rider rode Half Nutz for 86.25 points in Round 1.

He sits tied for eighth in the event average with Silvano Alves and Marco Eguchi.

“It is great to get that first one out of the way,” Sims said. “I wasn’t nervous. I always do better when I am cracking some jokes before I get on and nod my head. Once I got on, everything went blank. I felt like I was right there move for move.”

Fellow rookie Tanner Byrne begins Round 2 tied for sixth in the average with L.J. Jenkins and takes on Superfreak. Byrne rode Tracker in Round 1 for 87 points.

“It’s a really big thing and you are always worried about different stuff coming in,” Byrne said. “You just want to do good and get that first one rode. Now it is kind of fun after this. You are no longer worried about falling off everything.”

Gage Gay was bucked off by KISS Animalize in Round 1 and the Staley, North Carolina, bull rider still sits atop the Rookie of the Year standings by 1,909.33 points heading into his Round 2 matchup against Cooper Tires Brown Sugar.

Is it time for Silvano Alves to take over the world standings lead?

Silvano Alves stopped at the CBS Sports Network television monitor just outside the out gate right before Joao Ricardo Vieira nodded his head on Wednesday night against Bruiser in Round 1.

Alves watched keenly as Bruiser took care of the No. 1 ranked bull rider in the world in a little under 4 seconds before the former World Champion headed back to the locker room.

Vieira’s buckoff and Alves’ 86.25-point ride on Dumber has put the two-time World Champion bull rider within 399.94 points of the world lead.

Alves has yet to be the No. 1 bull rider all season long and a qualified ride on Mr. Clark Thursday night would put him one step closer.

Although, Vieira has a great draw against Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey and there is no question that the 2013 Rookie of the Year needs to cover his bull on Thursday night.

History is in his favor as he rode Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey for 91 points at the World Finals last year.

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko.

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