By: Slade Long
January 08, 2017
NEW YORK – Six riders are coming in to the last day of competition here with two scores in two rounds. Jess Lockwood is in the lead, and he’s had relatively unknown bulls in both of the first two rounds, and he’s got another one here. Fabiano Vieira is in second is in the same situation with a brand new bull, as is Gage Gay.
J.B. Mauney on 1237 Walk Off:
Despite the fact that Mauney bucked off in both of the first two rounds, this matchup is one of the biggest so far. Walk Off is a veteran bull with 60 Built Ford Tough Series outs under his belt, most of those in short rounds. He’s a big load for anyone to ride, even Mauney, and it’s a little shocking they haven’t met before. They’ve been in the same place at the same time quite often and just never made a connection.
Eduardo Aparecido on 1R15 Blind Spot:
Aparecido has the lowest total of the guys who have two scores, but he’s got a good chance to add a third score here. Blind Spot should go to the right, and he’s only been ridden by right-handed riders. This is a showy bull who leaves the chute high and hard, but once he goes into a spin he will switch to speed rather than big jumps.
J.W. Harris on 976 Slick Rick:
On paper this bull has little chance of bucking Harris off. He’s 6-9 against right-handed riders in his career. In real life, they met once back in 2015, and sure enough, Harris came out on top. Mason Lowe scored 87.75 points on Slick Rick to split the opening round Friday night. Harris came down in Round 2, but he has a good chance to get back in it here.
Dakota Buttar on 212 Blue Duck:
Buttar is a gritty rider, and he will need to be on this bull because Blue Duck has been ridden just once in 16 career outs. Buttar has ridden two bulls here that give other riders trouble, and he’s going to have to get by another challenging adversary to stay perfect.
Mason Lowe on 264 Ram It:
Lowe has really drawn better bulls than anyone here. J.B. Mauney scored 88 points on Ram It in Charlotte, North Carolina, last fall, and the bull went to the right with him. That would be into Lowe’s hand. This bull has a lot of timing and is showy enough to get a big score on. Look for Lowe to stay in position or move up going into the short round.
Jess Lockwood on 160 Pitch Black:
This bull’s first out ever was Friday night against Cody Nance, and he won that battle. Lockwood has turned in two good rides so far on unknown bulls, and so far this weekend he is riding as well as we’ve ever seen him ride.
Kaique Pacheco on L10 Like a Boss:
This bull is a big, pretty colored bull who is very weak against right-handed riders. He’s 2-4 against them. Pacheco is 0-for-2 so far, but he hasn’t had great draws. I’d be shocked if he comes down from this one. Like a Boss is reminiscent of the kind of bulls Brazilian riders get on in Brazil, and Pacheco excels on that kind of bull. Pacheco has all advantages in this matchup.
Matt Triplett on 164X Otis:
Triplett really let one get away last night when he bucked off his re-ride bull. The issue is that King Buck may be the easiest bull that is good enough to come to the BFTS level, and Triplett froze up on him. Hopefully he can let that go and not dwell on it. The event title is still in reach for him if he can take care of business today.
Marco Eguchi on 954 Machinery Auctioneer’s Little Joe:
In the first round, Silvano Alves got in trouble in the chute, and had to call for this bull in a hurry, but he turned in an 86.5-point score anyway. Eguchi was also scored 86.5 on Little Joe in Nashville last summer. Eguchi has one score with good odds to pick up another, and he’s still in contention here.
Silvano Alves on 281 Shakey:
Shakey has been ridden twice by right-handed riders, and never by a lefty. He’ll have to do something more than go to the right to get Alves on the ground. Alves hurt his chances last night by taking a re-ride option and bucking off, but he’s hurting his cause even more with his chute procedure. He’s been on three bulls here, and he’s let himself be put on the clock on all three. Every time a rider gets put on the clock there’s a decent chance he will end up disqualified. Alves still has it in him to ride like he did in his first two World Championship seasons, and he needs to focus on that rather than preparation. Spending so much time in the chute is detrimental at this point. He’s not riding 60-70 percent of this bulls anymore, and he needs big rides and big scores. Winning the world title is a matter of having more good scores than other guys, not more scores of any kind. If you stay on a lot, this is easy to manage. If you stay on less often it gets harder, and that’s where Alves is right now. He’s not staying on as many as he once did, so he needs a greater percentage of his rides to count for something.
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