By: Justin Felisko
August 26, 2016
Tulsa Express Employment Professionals Classic: The Built Ford Tough Series resumes this weekend in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with the Tulsa Express Employment Professionals Classic, presented by Osage Casino. 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: Mauney’s Tulsa mastery
Two-time World Champion J.B. Mauney is a dangerous 15-for-30 with three 90-point rides and two victories inside the BOK Center in Tulsa. And, yes, this is where Mauney made history by riding three-time World Champion Bushwacker for 95.25 points in 2013.
If you are still unsure if you should select him as your Tier A pick, well he also went 3-for-4 last weekend in Nashville and won the Ride Score Championship with the highest aggregate score.
The current BFTS-leader for riding percentage (56.25 percent) has drawn Rocco (9-1, BFTS) for Round 1 and After Shock (0-0, BFTS) for Round 2. Jess Lockwood rode Rocco for 90 points last week in Nashville.
World leader Kaique Pacheco has drawn Purina Athlete (0-0, BFTS) for Round 1 and JJ’s Pride for Round 2. Pacheco rode JJ’s Pride (5-3, BFTS) for 90 points at the Denver BlueDEF Tour event and JJ’s Pride has been ridden in three consecutive outs.
Cooper Davis has two good matchups in Tulsa. His first is against Glory Days (3-5, BFTS) in Round 1 and then he follows it up with a rematch against Psycho Path (0-0, BFTS). Glory Days was ridden last week byStetson Lawrence for 83.5 points, while Davis rode Psycho Path for 79.5 points at the 2015 Touring Pro Division event in Bossier City, Louisiana.
World No. 5 Joao Ricardo Vieira faces Smooth Over (0-0, BFTS) and Dozer (0-0, BFTS) in Tulsa.
TIER B: What is next for Lockwood?
Lockwood was the only other rider outside of Mauney and Davis to post three qualified rides in Nashville. It was the second time in his young career that the rookie has posted three qualified rides in an event.
Lockwood begins Tulsa with a first-round date against Mr. Deeds Jr (1-0, BFTS) and Majestic (0-0, BFTS).
Fellow rookie Derek Kolbaba will take on Jailbreaker for the fourth time (third on the BFTS) and has yet to reach 8 seconds on him. However, Kolbaba did make it to the 6.48-second mark in the duo’s last meeting in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Kolbaba then takes on Throwin Salt (5-2, BFTS).
World No. 6 Eduardo Aparecido and his 50 percent riding average is the third best in the PBR. Aparecido usually is a solid value pick in Tier B, but he has drawn Udder Lover (4-0, BFTS) in Round 1. He then will attempt Wired Child (12-2, BFTS), who he rode for 86.5 points at Iron Cowboy.
TIER C: Will rematches go in favor of the rider?
There are a total of 10 rematches in the first two rounds of competition in Tulsa. Some are in the riders’ favor, while some are likely not.
Cody Nance has a potentially favorable matchup in Round 1 against Sketchy Bob. Nance rode Sketchy Bob for 86.25 points in Anaheim, California, earlier this season, while Lawrence has a tiebreaker matchup with Dirt Road. Lawrence rode Dirt Road for 86 points.
Gage Gay has his third showdown with Bootdaddy.com, who has dropped him short of the 8-second whistle on two occasions. The last time it was during the 15/15 Bucking Battle in New York this season when Gay made it to 7.68 seconds.
One rider to keep an eye on is Dakota Buttar. The two-time Canadian Pro Rodeo Association bull riding champion has a rematch against I’m a Thug in Round 2. I’m a Thug bucked off Buttar in 3.91 seconds in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, at a PBR Canada event.
Buttar first will make his BFTS debut against Bottoms Up (0-1, BFTS). Buttar has ridden six in a row on the PBR Canada circuit. Justin Paton rode Bottoms Up for 72.5 points in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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