By: Justin Felisko
May 13, 2016
Last Cowboy Standing: The Built Ford Tough Series resumes this weekend in Las Vegas with Last Cowboy Standing. Don’t forget to set your lineups for Ultimate PBR Fantasy, and if you haven’t already, sign up now for your chance to win.
TIER A: Can Vieira build off BlueDEF Tour success?
Fabiano Vieira may not have won a PBR Major in his career, but he was extremely close last season at the Jack Daniel’s Music City Knockout in Nashville.
Vieira was runner-up to Kaique Pacheco, but Vieira did finish the event 4-for-5 for the ride score championship.
With that in mind, can Vieira find that same level of consistency at Last Cowboy Standing?
Vieira is 1-for-10 on the BFTS in the past three events, but is coming off a 3-for-3 victory at the Uvalde, Texas, BlueDEF Tour event.
The 33-year-old has drawn Wolf Cry (2-0, BFTS). Wolf Cry made his debut in Billings, Montana, and bucked off Stormy Wing (3.97 seconds) and Mike Lee (2.22 seconds).
It is hard to bet against world No. 1 J.B. Mauney this season, but he has historically struggled at Last Cowboy Standing formatted events.
Mauney is 4-for-12 in LCS events, including a 1.85-second buckoff at Iron Cowboy this past February. Last year, Mauney made it to Round 3 in Las Vegas before being eliminated by Little Red Jacket.
The two-time World Champion arrives in Las Vegas fresh off a two-week break following three events in which he contended with injuries to his riding elbow and hip.
He has drawn Gas Pedal (0-0, BFTS) for Round 1 on Friday night. Gas Pedal only has one out on record, a 3.47-second buckoff of Dave Mason at the Fresno, California, BlueDEF Tour event last month.
Defending Last Cowboy Standing champion Joao Ricardo Vieira is 10-for-18 at Last Cowboy Standing events and has drawn Mr. Clark (13-3, BFTS). Silvano Alves recently rode Mr. Clark in February in Sacramento, California, during the bull’s last BFTS out.
No. 4 Paulo Lima has a rematch against El Capitan. Lima has failed to cover El Capitan in two attempts at the BlueDEF Tour level.
No. 5 Shane Proctor enters his matchup with Cash Flo (1-0, BFTS) having bucked off a career-high 19 in a row.
TIER B: Does Davis channel his World Finals powers?
Cooper Davis stole the show at the 2015 Built Ford Tough World Finals by going 4-for-5 to win the World Finals event title.
Davis was only the fourth rookie in PBR history to win the prestigious event and has a knack for riding well in Sin City. Davis also has a bull in Twisted Rooster (0-0, BFTS) that has never bucked on the BFTS or faced a rider of Davis’ quality in his five undefeated outs at the Touring Pro Division level.
Fellow young gun Derek Kolbaba will look to build off his Des Moines victory when he is challenged by Tso-Op (0-0. BFTS). Tso-Op was last rode by Kade Alberty for 86.5 points at the Fresno, California, BlueDEF Tour event.
Eduardo Aparecido is a solid option in Tier B with a Round 1 matchup against Bad Grandma (2-1, BFTS). Fraser Babbington nearly rode Bad Grandma before bucking at 7.16 seconds in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
TIER C: Can Oliveira break the 1-1 tie with Long Haired Outlaw?
Valdiron de Oliveira gets to take on Long Haired Outlaw in Round 1 and he has had both success and failure against the bull.
Oliveira rode Long Haired Outlaw for 86.75 points at the 2015 Seattle Invitational, but was bucked off by the bovine athlete in 4.8 seconds in Billings, Montana, this year.
Three-time World Champion Silvano Alves has won Last Cowboy Standing twice and has the second-most qualified rides (nine) among active riders at Last Cowboy Standing events. Alves is four for his last eight at BFTS events.
Alves faces Uh Oh (1-0, BFTS) Friday night. Wallace de Oliveira made it to the 5.98-second mark on Uh Oh in Little Rock, Arkansas.
2008 World Champion Guilherme Marchi is coming off two consecutive events with two qualified rides. Two weeks after going 2-for-3 in Des Moines, Marchi went 2-for-3 at the Uvalde, Texas, BlueDEF Tour event.
Marchi has drawn Blackberry Smoke (1-1, BFTS). Kolbaba rode Blackberry Smoke for 84 points in Billings, Montana.
This week’s sleeper pick is Kasey Hayes. The 30-year-old takes on Gentleman Jim (10-7, BFTS), and, according to Slade Long of ProBullStats.com, “Gentleman Jim is 6-7 against left-handed riders in his career, and Hayes is exceptionally good at riding bulls that go into his hand.”
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