In the Bull Pen: Fresno

There should be a lot of new faces in the bull pens this week, or at least faces we don’t see very often. After one of the best pens we’ll see all year at the Iron Cowboy, the bull riders will catch a little break in Fresno. Not that these aren’t good bulls, but they won’t be as good overall as the pen we saw last week. It will be more like a normal Built Ford Tough Series event. PBR livestock director Cody Lambert will be using a lot of bulls from the West Coast in Fresno.

“Fresno will have a good pen of bulls, but it won’t be like Sacramento where no one made the whistle in the short go,” Lambert said. “It’s a lot to ask of a bull to haul straight from Arlington to the West Coast. Most of the best bulls in the PBR were in Arlington last week, so most of those are unavailable for Fresno. The Iron Cowboy and the World Finals are the two best pens of bulls we have all year, so this week it will be a little easier on the riders.”

A few bulls did make the trip, including a new prospect called Just Push Play. He was out in THE AMERICAN last Sunday, and he’ll be in the Built Ford Tough Championship Round here, along with Jeff Robinson’s Walk Off, who eliminated Silvano Alves at the Iron Cowboy last week.

“THE AMERICAN was the first chance I had to see Just Push Play in person,” Lambert said. “I’ve seen some video of him, and he looks like he could be really special. Walk Off has been to every event this year, and that’s a lot of miles to put on a bull. I’ve been thinking he’s due for a break, but he hasn’t shown any signs of needing one. He’s been great all year.”

Julio Moreno’s bull of the year contender Roy will be in Fresno as well. He’s had a long string of great outs, but among the top-tier bulls he may be one of the more rider friendly ones.

“He’s a really good bull,” Lambert said. “But, in the short round pens where we’ll see him most of the time he’s going to be one of the better bulls to ride. You won’t see him picked last in the draft, and that’s because the guys want to get on him. He’s got good timing, and he’s going to feel better to a rider than most of the bulls in his class.”

Jeff Robinson’s Percolator, who has been one of the best bulls all season, will be in Fresno a week after costing Jason Malone a share of $1 million at THE AMERICAN last Sunday.

“They nearly won THE AMERICAN on him,” Lambert said. “Jason Malone rode him over 7 seconds, and it was good too. He just lost it right at the end, and he would have won a share in the million dollars for being a qualifier. He would have been over 90 points for sure.”

Julio Moreno’s Mr. Bull will be in the short go on Sunday as well, along with Fire Rock, Fat Max, Buck Dynasty and LL Cool J.

Follow Slade Long on Twitter @Probullstats

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