ALLENTOWN, Pa. – Here are three things we learned from the Allentown Invitational this weekend at the PPL Center.
Mauney continues march to second world title; extends lead
J.B. Mauney keeps throwing haymaker after haymaker and the rest of the World Champion contenders continue to flounder.
Mauney finished 2-for-3 in Allentown to earn 340 points toward the world standings and a second-place finish.
The world leader extends his lead over No. 2 Joao Ricardo Vieira to 817.5 points and No. 3 Kaique Pacheco to 990 points.
Mauney had previously earned 90 world points in the 15/15 Bucking Battle on Friday night with a 90.25-point ride on Modified Clyde.
He then carried that momentum into Saturday and won Round 2 with an 89-point ride on Cash Ya Out for 100 of his world points and then placed second in the Built Ford Tough Championship Round with an 89.5-point ride on Mr. U for 60 world points.
Mauney leads the BFTS with 12 round wins.
He finished third in the event average for an additional 180 points.
“We have Tucson next week and I will go to the BlueDEF Finals the next weekend,” Mauney said. “I then have a weekend off and then Finals. You can’t think about it.”
One thing Mauney was thinking about on Saturday night was working on dismounting from his bulls better.
After riding Cash Ya Out, Mauney was run over by the bovine athlete in the arena.
Therefore, following his ride on Mr. U, Mauney joked, “The dismount was much better on that one.”
Mauney also added that he was fine from his slight wreck with Cash Ya Out, who also mashed Mauney’s ankle inside the bucking chutes last month in Nashville, Tennessee.
“I was like man this isn’t good,” he said. “Luckily, he just sored me up a bit.”
In regards to the world title race, Mauney continues to make the 8-second mark while the rest of the top contenders continue to come up empty.
A week after winning in Charlotte, Pacheco put up a goose egg and went 0-for-3 in Allentown, including his 5.44-second buckoff against Boot Jack in the 15/15 Bucking Battle.
Meanwhile, Vieira opted out of the championship round because of a sprained left wrist that he injured while riding All Jacked Up for 82.25 points in the second round.
Vieira’s decision not to compete in the championship round cost him any chance at earning points toward the world standings and he has now gone three consecutive events without earning a point and has only earned 60 world points in the past seven events.
Vieira confirmed to PBR.com that he will be in Tucson, Arizona, next weekend for the regular-season finale.
Matt Triplett – the fourth-ranked rider in the world standings – also opted out of the final round despite riding Escape Artist for 83.25 points.
According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, Triplett didn’t compete after aggravating his left knee injury in Round 1 on Friday night when he was bucked off by Legal Tender in 2.23 seconds.
Triplett also confirmed to PBR.com that he will indeed be competing in Tucson.
However, Vieira and Triplett, as well as Pacheco, are all that much farther behind Mauney then when they arrived in Allentown.
Mauney paused when asked if he could sense how much closer he is to a second world title.
He then responded, “I don’t really worry about it. It don’t really matter to me until the last bull is bucked in Vegas. If I do my job, I will be where I should be. All you can do is ride your bulls and the chips will fall where they may.”
Harris says hold the celebration
J.W. Harris isn’t ready to throw in his towel yet in the world title race and his 89.75-point ride on Redbone in the championship round not only clinched his third career victory, but it very much kept alive his World Championship aspirations.
Harris earned a season-high 570 points – 100 for winning the championship round – to move up a spot to fifth in the world standings and trails Mauney by 1,605 points.
The four-time PRCA champion nearly cost himself a ride on Redbone before digging down deep to readjust and finish the ride.
“I about screwed him up halfway through,” Harris said. “I had to do just about everything to keep from slapping him. I was just focused on trying to stay out over him because he is so big and has so much whip. I just kind of focused maybe too much of crawling out over him. After that correction, I got my feet down, had to sit up and set my hips. I’ll take it, it works.”
Coming behind Mauney and Harris in the event Top 5 was Cooper Davis (3-for-3, 310 points), Alexandre Cardozo (2-for-3, 200 points) and Mason Lowe (2-for-3, 165 points).
Davis, who finished fifth in the championship round with an 87.5-point ride on Bad to the Bone and fourth in Round 2 with an 86.75-point ride on Joe The Grinder, moves from 21st in the world standings to 14th.
Lowe finished third in the championship with an 88.5-point ride on Set ‘em Up Joe – it was his first career ride in the championship round after previously going 0-for-6.
He jumps from 19th to 16th in the world.
Cardozo takes advantage of golden opportunity
If not for Robson Palermo withdrawing from the Allentown Invitational this week because of a groin injury, Cardozo would not have been competing on the BFTS.
The 25-year-old took advantage of the lucky break and responded by going a career-high 2-for-3 for a career-best 200 world points.
Most of all, the performance moves him from 41st in the world standings to 32nd.
Cardozo came into the event 1-for-28 this season in 14 BFTS events and was the lowest-ranked rider competing at the PPL Center
“This is good for my mind,” Cardozo said. “I know I can ride good. I didn’t feel pressure, but my mind sometimes (thought about) it.”
The 25-year-old first ended a streak of 11 consecutive BFTS buckoffs by riding Hot & Juicy for 87 points in Round 2. He tied with Douglas Duncan (87 points on The Kraken) for second-place.
Each rider earned 55 world points for their second-place finish in the round. Duncan earned a total of 72.5 points and placed seventh overall in the event.
The points were important for Duncan as he moved from 35th to 34th in the world standings.
Cardozo almost looked stunned that he had made the 8-second mark in the championship round.
“I wasn’t surprised because I know I can ride good,” Cardozo said. “I was just so glad. I feel blessed.”
Cardozo was advised to select Texicali by 2010 World Champion Renato Nunes and three-time World Champion Silvano Alves.
“I told him this is his passport to the Finals and he did it,” Nunes said. “I am so happy for him. I pull for him a lot. He worked hard all year long and I hope he makes the Finals.”
Afterwards, Cardozo knew he was that much closer to qualifying for his first World Finals.
“This is my dream,” he concluded. “To make a World Finals. I have worked for this and tried so hard.”
Dr. Tandy Freeman was a busy man on Saturday night, tending to multiple riders for various injuries.
The most common were groin strains as Gage Gay (right), Nathan Schaper (left), Tanner Byrne (right) and Shane Proctor (left) all sustained one during the second round.
Gay and Schaper are listed as probable for Tucson, while Byrne and Proctor are questionable.
Proctor’s strain kept him from competing in the championship round.
Fabiano Vieira didn’t compete in the championship round after aggravating his left knee and thigh contusion that he first sustained in the chutes on Friday night during the 15/15 Bucking Battle.
The No. 5 bull rider in the world standings was bucked off by Westley’s Pet in 2.95 seconds during Round 2.
Dave Mason lacerated his left leg when he struck the chute attempting to ride Clementine in Round 2. It was sutured in the training room.
Cody Nance was bucked off by Big Enough in 3.35 seconds while attempting to ride after separating his right shoulder following his 86.25-point ride on Little Red Jacket in the 15/15 Bucking Battle.
Chase Outlaw (aggravation of a previous left arm injury) and Mike Lee (concussion) each sustained their injuries during the championship round. Outlaw was bucked off by Father Shadow in 2.01 seconds, and Lee collided with Bad Touch’s head in 1.49 seconds.
Outlaw is probable for Tucson and Lee is questionable.
© 2015 PBR Inc. All rights reserved.