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The Morning Line: Fresno, Day 1

Morning Line – Fresno Round 1

After last week’s gauntlet, this group of bulls should be like taking a pony ride at the fair. It won’t really be that easy, but the riders should fare better than they did in the Iron Cowboy, where they were several points below the average riding percentage. There are three brand new bulls in this round, Cody Nance, Bryan Titman and Lachlan Richardson all have bulls that have no history, but Cody Lambert says they are good ones.

Round One Matchups:

Aaron Roy on 69 Jagged Edge:

It’s good to see Aaron Roy back on tour. He’s got the kind of talent that is needed at this level, and he’s got what looks to be a good draw to get him back in the swing of things. This bull has just a couple of outs on his record, but Sean Willingham rode him at a Touring Pro Division event in California last fall for 85.5 points. A qualified ride here would be a big deal for Roy.

Claudio Crisostomo on T05 El Capitan:

In just three career outs, El Capitan has had a hard time getting guys on the ground. Matt Triplett and Billy Robinson both had qualified rides on him, and Bryan Titman took him 6.45 seconds at a Touring Pro Division event. This bull can be bad in the chute, and that could cost Crisostomo a good opportunity at a score, because he isn’t the swiftest guy at getting out on bulls that act up.

J.W. Harris on 91 Hair Trigger:

This is the best looking matchup in this round on paper. Hair Trigger is ridden a lot, most often by right-handed guys, he doesn’t have horns, he does have rock solid timing, and he can produce great scores. Bulls at the Built Ford Tough Series level just don’t get much sweeter than this, and Harris should place high in the round here.

Ben Jones on X8/8 Hair Trigger:

So far as we know, this is the second-best bull named Hair Trigger out tonight. He doesn’t have a long record, but he’s given up a couple of rides in five career outs, and he hasn’t really faced a lot of high-level riders. Jones has a good shot at getting a decent score out of this.

Kaique Pacheco on T954 Hot Blooded:

This is a quality bull, and a good draw for Pacheco. Hot Blooded is the first bull J.W. Harris got on at a Built Ford Tough series event, and that happened here in Fresno in the opening round last year. Harris placed in the round on him. The bull hasn’t been ridden since then, and Silvano Alves and Valdiron de Oliveira are among his recent victims.

Nathan Schaper on 9-38 Mud Man:

Mud Man isn’t ridden very often, and he can be hit or miss. He threw J.B. Mauney off in Chicago earlier this year, and he looked pretty good doing it. He’s had some weaker trips at times too. He’s likely to reverse the spin, whichever way he goes, and he has yet to give up a ride to a left- handed rider. Schaper could turn this into a big score, but it won’t be easy.

Luis Blanco on 113Y Reaganator:

It seem like it happens pretty often that a guy earns his way up on tour, and he draws a pretty nice bull to start him off. That’s what’s going on here. Blanco is here because he won a Blue Def Velocity Tour event in Portland, Oregon, and this bull is coming in here 0-2 in his career. Neil Holmes won third in a round on him in Laughlin last year, and that was a round where they rode 20 bulls. So, this is a very good draw in Blanco can cash in on it.

Mike Lee on 64 Merlot Man:

This is a rematch from three years ago. These two met in Anaheim, California, in 2012, and the bull won in 6.4 seconds. At times, Merlot Man can be good enough to win a round on, and at times he’s not feeling up to it. Overall, he’s one of the better proven bulls out tonight, and if Lee can get the job done, he could win some money and points here.

Bonner Bolton on 906 Breakdown:

This bull carried Mauney to a round win at the World Finals on his way to a World Championship in 2013. He really hasn’t been as good a bull since then, but the potential is there. On his best days, he’s the kind of bull riders like. He can spend a lot of time in the air, and he can be showy without having a lot of real power. Just about every guy at this level should get along with him.

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