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The Morning Line, Sacramento, Day 1

You may think that because Sacramento is on the West Coast, the pen of bulls will be weaker. Not so, at least for the Built Ford Tough Championship Round. The long rounds will probably not be as strong as the long rounds in Oklahoma City, but the short round will be a gauntlet.

Round 1 doesn’t have a lot of standout matchups. We don’t have that one special bull matched up with just the right guy. We’ll see some rides, but it will come down to which bull has a better-than-average day today.

Jordan Hupp on X118 Hotwired:

This could be a pretty good draw. His record shows he’s one of the nicer bulls to ride in the round. He’s got good timing and he tends to hang in the air a little. Hupp should make it to the whistle here, but he’ll need this bull to have a good day. He’s been known to take a day off now and then. He did pretty well in his only Built Ford Tough Series out, though, carrying Eduardo Aparecido to an 86.5-point score.

Matt Triplett on X111 Still Doing Time:

This is a rematch from Thackerville, Oklahoma, last season, where Triplett came down in 6.48 seconds. Still Doing Time is one of the best bulls we’ll see in this round. He can be nearly a short round-caliber bull at times. Triplett has been riding unbelievably well, and the only part of his game that bears improvement is his efficiency on the top-tier bulls. He’s riding well enough to win a World Championship right now, but his riding percentage on the best bulls last season was in the low 20s. If he can get to 40 percent on those bulls he’ll be hard to beat.

Silvano Alves on T954 Hot Blooded:

Although Alves came down twice in Oklahoma City, he should be heavily favored here. Hot Blooded doesn’t have any tricks, and has great timing. He’s only been ridden once in seven outs, Alves will probably make him 6-2 after tonight.

Ryan Dirteater on 915 Houla Hoop:

This is another rematch, and interestingly enough, it happened here in Sacramento in Round 1 last year. Dirteater won the round, too. Houla Hoop is a nice draw. He’s entirely predictable, and as a result is ridden pretty often. He’s predictable in that every jump tends to be just like the last jump. To a rider, this is a great help. If a bull jumps and kicks in a predictable manner, it doesn’t matter which way he spins. Knowing the direction a bull is going to spin is not a great help to riders in general.

J.W. Harris on 0205/9 Deerango:

This is a little bit of a heavyweight matchup. Deerango is 23-0 in his career, and Harris is no slouch at handling hard to ride bulls. We’ve seen Deerango in short rounds from time to time, and he’s the only bull that was able to throw off J.B Mauney at the World Finals. He’s heavy, out of line, and completely unpredictable.

Eduardo Aparecido on W7 Mr. Showbiz:

Aparecido may have his work cut out for him here. Mr. Showbiz may be a little under the radar, but he’s quietly thrown off 48 of the 50 riders who have tried him. He’s 10-1 on the Built Ford Tough Series, and the one ride happened more than a year ago. Stormy Wing was 89.5 points on him.

Sean Willingham on 631 Mr. Twitter:

This is a pretty good draw for Willingham. J.W. Harris was 86.5 points on him in Chicago, and he gave up big rides at a couple of different Touring Pro Division events last season. This bull has great timing, and he’s the kind of bull that riders should really like.

Shane Proctor on 91 Hair Trigger:

Ridden six times in 10 Built Ford Tough Series outs, Hair Trigger is definitely one of the easier bulls in the round. He’s even weaker against right-handed riders, and he’s been known to give up some good scores as well. Proctor has a good chance to grab some points here.

Marco Eguchi on 821 Super Kool Cat:

Eguchi has just one qualified ride on the season so far, but he’s got a shot here. This bull goes to the right, and is ridden fairly often by right-handed riders. The trick to him is that he’s welly — he wants to throw the rider to the inside of the spin. That isn’t good for overly aggressive riders, but Eguchi isn’t overly aggressive, and he’s always got a good sense of where he is on a bull.

Stormy Wing on 83 Game Over:

This is a rematch from Oakland, California, back in September. Wing won the opening round there on this bull, putting up 87.75 points on a bull going away from his hand. This is one of the better bulls in tonight’s round, and Wing has a good chance to pick up some points here.

Joao Ricardo Vieira on 173 Mental Revenge:

If you’ve been watching Vieira this season, you’ll notice he’s made some pretty good rides on bulls that go away from his hand. He’s got a chance to do that again here. Mental Revenge hasn’t been around long, but so far he’s only been ridden by right handed riders.

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