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The Morning Line: Charlotte, Day 1

Gage Gay on 908 Americana:

We haven’t seen this bull on tour much recently, but Gay is very familiar with him. They met twice at Touring Pro Division events this summer, and Gay was 91.5 points in their last meeting. Americana won their first match, but Gay did stay aboard 7.1 seconds there. Look for this to be a good score, possibly enough to place in the round, but less than 90 points for sure.

J.B. Mauney on 085 Past Time:

Past Time gives up a lot of rides to left-handed riders, and he really doesn’t stand a chance against Mauney in the arena. Before they get into the arena, Mauney couldn’t have drawn worse. Past Time is notoriously bad in the chute. That’s usually not a big deal for Mauney, but with a lower leg injury, a bull that acts up in the chute is the last thing he needs.

Brady Sims on R287-01 Closing Time:

Closing Time has been ridden a few times, but his record is pretty lopsided. He’s 7-5 against right-handed riders, and 7-0 against lefties. If Sims can win this match he will be the first left- handed rider to get by this bull.

Kaique Pacheco on 83 Cowboy Up:

Pacheco is sitting third in the World Standings, but he hasn’t picked up a point in the past two events, while Mauney picked up 500. This bull should really fit him, and can deliver good scores, but there’s no guarantee he will place in the points in this round. Pacheco let two bulls get away last week that would have probably would have put him first or second in those rounds. He should get the whistle here, but being nearly 1,000 points behind Mauney, he needs big scores and this one may not be big enough.

Tanner Byrne on 965 King Buck:

This is the single best bull a right-hander could draw. King Buck is 3-12 against right-handed riders in his career, and he even gave up a score to J.W. Hart over the summer. That said, he got the best of Kaique Pacheco in Nashville — his most recent out. Byrne shouldn’t have a problem here, and should get a pretty good score.

Lachlan Richardson on 018 Ranga:

Richardson has been to the World Finals for the past three years, and his riding percentage hasn’t risen above 30 percent in his career. Because he doesn’t get many qualified rides, he needs to make the ones he does get count. This is a good opportunity for him. Ranga is one of the more rideable bulls here, especially for right-handed riders. The other guys on the bubble — Neil Holmes, Dave Mason, Tyler Harr and Michael Lane — are all here as well, they all have decent draws, and Richardson needs to keep pace.

Mason Lowe on 159 Alright Alright Alright:

Over the past five events, Lowe has been outriding his career riding percentage by a little. That’s actually a sign that a guy is doing well. Bulls at this level are a little tougher to stay on, but Lowe is riding as well here as he rides anywhere. Lowe is really having the best season of his career, and he will be at his first World Finals in just more than a month. He will be facing a little adversity here, in that this bull hasn’t been very kind to right-handed riders, but this is a bull with a lot of up and down and not too much forward movement. When a guy has a bull that goes away from his hand, a lack of forward movement is a big help.

J.W. Harris on 28W Nefarious:

Last week’s winner has a great draw to start things off here. Nefarious is weak against the top tier riders, and although he often spins to the left, he’s weak against right handed riders as well. He’s good enough to place Harris in the points here, and if he can be good enough to produce a round win.

Fabiano Vieira on 716 Sunday Funday:

This is a bull we haven’t seen on tour, but he’s likely to be stronger than the average debut bull. At the touring pro level he’s unridden, and his last four outs have all been marked 44 points or more, including a 45 and a 46-point out. Vieira will be easily the best rider he’s faced. There’s no way to know exactly what to expect here, but expect it to be good.

Chase Outlaw on 025 The Kraken:

We saw this bull early in the year, and he was just average. Over the summer Touring Pro Division run he was much improved, or at least his bull scores were much improved. He carried Thad Newell to a 90.5-point score in Eureka, Montana, just a few weeks ago. This is a bull with big jumps, but he may go a ways before deciding to spin. If he turns back early he could be one of the stronger bulls in the round.

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