In the Bullpen: Phoenix

By: Slade Long
March 04, 2016

Roy last bucked in Sacramento, California, and will make his return this weekend in Phoenix. Photo: Andy Watson/

Roy last bucked in Sacramento, California, and will make his return this weekend in Phoenix. Photo: Andy Watson/

PHEONIX – Nearly every high profile World Champion Bull contender was on hand at the Choctaw Casino Iron Cowboy, powered by Kawasaki, last week, but one was waiting for the Ak-Chin Invitational in Phoenix to test himself against the best. Julio Moreno’s Roy has been one of the most explosive bulls in the PBR for the past couple of years. He didn’t make the trip to Texas, but he will be on hand in Phoenix to show his stuff.

The highest marked bull in Arlington, Jared Allen’s Air Time, will buck for his second week in a row in Phoenix, and Chad Berger’s Asteroid will be on hand to try to steal the show after a less than stellar score at Iron Cowboy.

We last saw Roy in Sacramento where Fabiano Vieira rode him for 90.25 points in the short round. Roy doesn’t travel the way some of the other bulls do, and it may take him a while to get in the race for the world championship, but he is one of the most consistently high marked bulls going. His style makes it hard for him to outscore bulls like Air Time and Asteroid, but he’s exciting to watch.

Unlike Air Time, Asteroid didn’t look like a star in Arlington, but PBR livestock director Cody Lambert chalks that up to a little bad luck.

“I think he got stuck in a bad situation at the Iron Cowboy,” Lambert said. “He came around really close to the gate and he had Shane Proctor off to the right. So he was too close to the fence to go left, and he doesn’t want to go right because he can feel Proctor over that side.”

“He just went a few jumps down the front of the chutes and bucked Proctor off,” Lambert continued. “He did his job, but it wasn’t as pretty as we are used to seeing him. It doesn’t worry me as to his future. Chad is moving him to a right hand delivery this week for the first time in his career. He’s a good candidate to switch deliveries on I think.”

The switch, though very new to Asteroid, doesn’t seem like it will be a huge issue, at least according to Lambert.

“It’s not a big deal for a bull to go from one side to the other,” Lambert said. “The usual reasons for trying it are if the bull fouls himself a lot on one side. Asteroid does that fairly often out of a left hand delivery, and there are times when he likes to go to the right half the time too, so the other side may work out better for him.”

According to Lambert, the switch may even pay huge dividends for the legendary bull.

“When he gets away from the chutes clean he’s the best bull there is,” Lambert said.

Chad Berger’s Crossfire is still unridden in 45 outs, and he’s 20-0 at the Built Ford Tough Series level. He’ll try to make that 21 this week in Phoenix. He’s been on Lambert’s good list for a while. He’s been bucked six times this year, and in all six outs he’s thrown off a top ten PBR rider.

“Crossfire threw off J.B. Mauney at The American,” Lambert said. “So in the last two weeks he’s bucked off Joao Ricardo Vieira and J.B., and Paulo Lima got a little dose of him at the Iron Cowboy, but he held on to the back of the chute too long, and that didn’t help him any.”

Berger, the reigning Stock Contractor of the Year, will have 26 bulls in Phoenix, which is a long way from home for him but not his bulls, who spend a lot of time in Oklahoma. In addition to Asteroid and Crossfire, we’ll also see Boot Jack, Cooper Tire’s Brown Sugar, and several other Berger bulls in the short round. Lane’s Magic Train will be joining Air Time in the short round representing Jared Allen’s Pro Bull Team.

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