Fantasy Focus: Thackerville

By: Justin Felisko
September 02, 2016

Kaique Pacheco has 32 qualified rides this season, leading the BFTS. Photo: Andy Watson /

Kaique Pacheco has 32 qualified rides this season, leading the BFTS. Photo: Andy Watson /

WINSTAR WORLD CASINO AND RESORT INVITATIONAL: The Built Ford Tough Series resumes this weekend in Thackerville, Oklahoma, with the WinStar World Casino and Resort Invitational. 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: Pacheco leads BFTS in qualified rides

World leader Kaique Pacheco’s 3-for-3 performance and third-place finish in Tulsa last weekend brought with it another caveat. Pacheco passed Joao Ricardo Vieira for the PBR lead with his 32nd qualified ride in 63 outs when he rode Midnight Moon for 66 points.

Pacheco is also second in the PBR with a 50.79 percent riding average heading into his Round 1 meeting with Kongo (0-0, BFTS). He has drawn Recovery Time (11-2, BFTS) for Round 2. Recovery Time bucked off Pacheco in 4.45 seconds in Duluth, Georgia.

Vieira has 31 qualified rides on his 2016 resume and last week’s 15/15 Bucking Battle winner takes on Flight Plan (6-0, BFTS) in Round 1. The 32-year-old has drawn Speed Demon (0-0, BFTS) for Round 2.

Vieira is only 1-for-6 since returning from the BFTS summer break.

We can’t forget about No. 2 Cooper Davis. The 22-year-old has been on absolute tear (6-for-9) since the summer break and has won the first two events of the stretch run.

Davis will look to build off that momentum when he faces Cool Hand Luke (0-0, BFTS) and El Diablo (0-0, BFTS).

Keep an eye on Fabiano Vieira. The 35-year-old is trying to ride through a left shoulder dislocation. Vieira has dislocated the shoulder twice in the last two months. He was 2-for-3 in Nashville two weeks ago before dislocating his shoulder attempting to ride Hammer It Again.

Vieira missed last week’s event in Tulsa because of the injury and his return Saturday will begin against Wheeler’s Heartbreaker (0-0, BFTS). He then takes on Yoga (8-4, BFTS) in Round 2 on Sunday. Vieira has previously ridden Yoga, doing so for 88 points at the Uvalde, Texas, BlueDEF Tour event in May.

TIER B: Will Aparecido repeat?

Eduardo Aparecido is the defending event champion in Thackerville following his 3-for-3 showing in 2015.

Aparecido, who has bucked off five in a row, has drawn Cut the Cord (6-0, BFTS) in Round 1 and Mustache Sally (1-0, BFTS) in Round 2.

Jess Lockwood won the Built Ford Tough Championship Round in Tulsa with a 90-point ride on Legacy, and the 18-year-old leads Tier B with a 48-percent riding average. Lockwood faces Play Girl (0-0, BFTS) and Brown Sugar (0-0, BFTS). Lockwood has posted two or more qualified rides in three consecutive events.

TIER C: Can Wing continue to soar?

Stormy Wing posted three qualified rides for the first time since March 2015 when he went 3-for-3 in Tulsa. Wing’s 88-point ride on After All was another reminder that when he is dialed in, Wing has the riding style to wow judges and earn high-marked scores.

Consistency has always been Wing’s problem, but maybe Tulsa will be a turnaround for the rider ranked 22nd in the world standings. Wing faces Rise & Shine (0-0, BFTS) in Round 1 and BoLo (1-0, BFTS) in Round 2. BoLo bucked off Valdiron de Oliveira in 3.6 seconds last weekend in Tulsa.

Gage Gay has a fantastic rematch in Round 2 against Come On Baby. Gay rode Come on Baby for 86.5 points in Des Moines, Iowa. Come on Baby has been ridden in four of his last five BFTS outs.

Marco Eguchi is clawing to a spot in the Top 35 and could really use a strong weekend in Thackerville if he wants to stay on the BFTS. He has a great matchup in Round 1 against Glory Days (3-6, BFTS). J.W. Hart’s bovine athlete has been ridden in five consecutive BFTS and has been a great draw for most riders.

Eguchi is a right-handed rider and six of the seven rides on Glory Days at all levels have come from right-handed riders.

The 27-year-old is 2-for-7 since returning to the BFTS two weeks ago. Eguchi has drawn Barracuda (9-1, BFTS) for Round 2.

2008 World Champion Guilherme Marchi was 2-for-3 in Tulsa and may be poised for another good weekend. Marchi takes on Losing My Religion (5-0, BFTS) and Jungle (2-2, BFTS). Losing My Religion bucked off Tyler Harr in 4.71 seconds in Tulsa, while Jungle has been ridden in last three outs at the Touring Pro Division level.

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko

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