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The Morning Line: Chicago, Day 1

The riders dominated last week, turning in 44 qualified rides – just more than half the outs in Baltimore resulted in a score. That’s above average for a Built Ford Tough Series event, and this week probably won’t be a repeat. The bulls set for Chicago won’t be the rankest pen we will see this season, but they will be an upgrade from last weekend.

Round 1 Matchups:

Cody Nance on 101 Baby Slinger:

This is a bit of a dark horse pick in this round because this bull doesn’t have a lot of history. He’s only been to a couple of Touring Pro Division events, but Josh Faircloth was 88 points on him in Florida last August. Lots of bulls do very well at Touring Pro events. It’s hard to say whether any one of them can deliver on the big stage, but we do know after seeing the Baltimore event that Nance will be hard for this bull to shed.

LJ Jenkins on 961 Southern Wine:

This is a bull that has been around for a while, and probably isn’t one of the rider’s favorites. He’s a pretty heavy duty bull that pounds the ground like a jackhammer. He keeps working at guys until he gets their feet behind them and flips them over his front end. On the plus side, that is relatively easy for a rider to counter. Jenkins has been on him before, knows what to expect, and should be able to handle it. Southern Wine can produce the kind of score that will place high in a long round as well.

Shane Proctor on DPX18 More Big Bucks:

Sean Willingham rode this bull in the opening round in Baltimore for just 84.75 points, but he didn’t have his best day there. Ryan Dirteater and JB Mauney both rode him to place in rounds at the World Finals. If he has that kind of trip here, Proctor could win this round handily. This is another bull that wants to throw riders over the front, and while that doesn’t sound like a pleasant scenario, the riders decidedly prefer it to bulls that are always moving forward and trying to rip them out the back end.

Matt Triplett on T02 Justified:

Justified is another bull that is relatively new. He is unridden in seven career outs, but it’s possible he just hasn’t run into the right rider yet. From what we’ve seen of him he likes to go to the right, and once he’s in a spin he looks pretty good. Triplett took a hard lick last week, and if he can bounce back from that, he could do well with this draw.

Silvano Alves on 03 Redbone:

This bull hasn’t been ridden by a right-handed rider yet, but Alves has changed that stat for a lot of bulls. We saw Redbone twice on tour last fall. He was ridden once, and nearly ridden the other time. Alves, on the other hand, stays on every bull. This one may or may not be enough to place on in this round, but he’s turned in some good scores at Touring Pro events.

Nathan Schaper on 594 Ropin Dreams:

If this event were one long round, and it were a draft round, there’s a good chance this would be the last bull picked. He’s not particularly scary looking, he’s not particularly dangerous, and he doesn’t have astounding athletic ability, but most riders don’t get along with him. He’s been ridden just six times in 56 career outs, and he’s faced some pretty talented riders. JB Mauney tried him twice and didn’t make it to the 2-second mark either time. In any round a great draw is always a bull that has a relatively low difficulty, but can produce high scores. This one is the opposite of that. He’s as difficult to ride as the short round bulls, but when ridden produces scores that may not win a long round. Schaper has his work cut out for him here.

Sean Willingham on 078 Grandpa Joe:

This bull has sketchy stats – he’s been around for a couple of years, but he hasn’t been away from home much. He’s been to a few Touring Pro Division events in and around the Dakotas, and as it happens, he’s run into Willingham before. He won the match, but just barely. Willingham stayed on him 7.89 seconds. Jory Markiss rode him in in Binford, North Dakota, last summer for 88 points and an event win.

Guilherme Marchi on 703 Let ‘Er Rip:

Let ‘Er Rip is a seasoned veteran as bulls go. He’s recorded 70 career outs, and he’s been ridden 20 times. The last time we saw him on tour was in September 2013. He’s been to quite a few Touring Pro events since then, and he’s been ridden pretty often. This is essentially a mismatch. Marchi should be heavily favored here. If he doesn’t get a score it will be a huge upset for the bull. The question is will he get a big enough score to place in the round? Should be close.

JW Harris on 077 Skid Row Joe:

This bull has been to four events, and hasn’t bucked anyone off at the Built Ford Tough Series level yet. Like Marchi’s matchup, this is another mismatch in the rider’s favor. Harris is a safe bet to get a score here, and it’s just a matter of whether the bull will be enough to put him in the points.

Harve Stewart on 28W Nefarious:

In nearly every long round, there are a few bulls that are borderline short round quality, and Nefarious is one of those bulls. He’s going to be good enough to place here, and possibly win the round. Nathan Schaper was 86.25 points in him last week, and he’s really been a better bull for right-handed riders. Stewart has a big opportunity here.

Follow Slade Long on Twitter @Probullstats

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