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The Morning Line: Baltimore, Day 2

BALTIMORE ― There are a lot of bulls in tonight’s draw that are completely unknown, and a number of bulls that have some Touring Pro Division experience, but are making their Built Ford Tough Series debut here. With 20 scores already on the board, we should see the riders dominate again tonight. Chances are we will see a reride option or two, as well. Some of these unknown bulls will be pretty good, and there’s a good chance we could see the round won on one of them.

Some of the matchups involving better-known bulls look pretty good.

Cody Nance on 922 Modified Clyde:
Clyde is a pretty salty draw in a long round. He’s a borderline short-round-quality bull, and he will produce around 88 points when ridden. That will win or place high in most long rounds. Look for a lot of speed and pretty good timing out of Clyde once he drops into a spin. He can spin either way, but he’s been ridden far more often by left-handed riders.

Marco Eguchi on 378 Oklahoma Bell:
We saw Matt Triplett win Bulls on the Beach in Huntington Beach, California, on this bull. He is another bull with short go credentials, but he goes off his game at times. He will try to turn back too close to the chute sometimes and mess himself up. At his best, he can be worth 90 points, but he was ridden at the World Finals for just 83.5 points. Bell is a pretty heavy bull that is likely to go to the left, and Eguchi will have to work hard to make the whistle.

Kasey Hayes on X90 Marty:
Hayes earned some round points last night, and he’s got what looks like a pretty easy draw tonight. Marty has been to two BFTS events, was ridden at one, and ridden 7.45 seconds at the other. He hasn’t shown much flash, and hasn’t produced scores high enough to place in a round, but Hayes has one big score and is well positioned in the aggregate. Placing among the Top 5 aggregate scores for an event pays a lot of points.

Matt Triplett on 033 Shoot Out the Lights:
This is a debut bull, but judging from his history, he’s a pretty good one to have. In four career outs, he was ridden three times for big scores and scored one 7.22-second buckoff.  It often happens that at smaller events, good rides are scored higher than they would be at a Built Ford Tough series event. This bull has produced three rides, all of them north of 90 points. Chances are, he won’t be that good, but he’s certainly not going to be particularly difficult to ride. Triplett has one score on the board already, and he should get another here. Of all the up-and-coming riders on tour, Triplett has shown the most promise. He’s steadily improved each season, and he was an outside contender for a World Championship last season. He’s a rider to watch this year.

WATCH TONIGHT’S ACTION FREE ON CARBONTV.COM

Renato Nunes on T08 Slappy:
Stormy Wing won second in the opening round of the World Finals on this bull. That’s the only score Slappy has allowed in five career outs, but Nunes will be the best rider he’s faced yet. Nunes is also capable of getting the best score any bull has to offer. This could be a round-winning ride if Nunes can seal the deal.

Valdiron de Oliveira on S06 Monsoon:
Monsoon will be one of the nicer-to-ride bulls out at this event, and Oliveira has ridden him before. The problem here is that Monsoon doesn’t typically produce big scores, and Oliveira was just under 85 points on him in their previous matchup. Because Oliveira came down last night, and so many scores are already on the board, he needs to hit it big in this round, because a low-scoring ride could put him out of contention for this event and he could walk out of here with zero points. Under the new point system, it’s going to be important for riders to win or place when they are presented with the opportunity, and at any given event, it’s more important for them to stay in contention for the aggregate points if they don’t have enough bull to win or place in the rounds. This will be a situation to watch all season. Letting an opportunity get away will be more costly than it was under the old system.

Josh Faircloth on D05 Flint:
Cody Lambert and Chad Berger have had more than a few conversations about this bull. Flint is an example of a bull whose stats can be misleading. His numbers are awesome – he averages nearly 44 points per out, which means he should be in short rounds, and he has been at times. But, if you look closely, you’ll find that when he’s ridden, his scores aren’t as good. He’s been ridden eight times for an average score of just under 87 points. That’s still good enough to win or place in many long rounds, but it isn’t the 90-plus-point ride you would expect from a bull who regularly turns in 44 point bull scores. Still, Faircloth has a chance to earn points here, though it won’t be easy. Flint doesn’t often allow left-handed riders to earn a score.

Reese Cates on B111 Kiss Animalize:
Cates looked pretty solid in the opening round, and he’s got one of the better proven bulls out tonight. KISS Animalize has been ridden pretty often – particularly by right-handed riders, and more importantly, he produces an average score of around 88 points. If Cates wants to stay at this level, he needs to grab the points when they are available, and this is one of those times.

Fans can watch tonight’s action at 10 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network.

Follow Slade Long on Twitter @ProBullStats.

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