The Morning Line: Seattle, 15/15 Bucking Battle

Stormy Wing on 96 Fire Rock:

Wing is in this round because Matt Triplett is out with an injury, and he couldn’t have drawn a bull he’s more familiar with. He’s been on Fire Rock four times, and he’s ridden him twice — most recently in St. Louis, Missouri, for 88.5 points and second in the short round.

Ryan Dirteater on 84U Buck Dynasty:

Buck Dynasty was ridden twice in August 2014 at back-to-back events, and other than that, he’s put down the other 65 guys who have tried him. This is a very hard bull to ride, there’s an element of danger to him because he slings his head a lot, and because of that there’s an extra dose of intimidation for the riders when they face him. You know this bull is really bucking because if he slacks off he’s likely to be gone from the BFTS level. Cody Lambert already doesn’t like him because of the excessive head movement, but won’t cut him from the tour so long as he’s bucking hard.

Eduardo Aparecido on 850 I’m a Gangster Too:

I’m a Gangster Too is kind of a statistical anomaly. He almost always goes to the right, but he’s only given up seven qualified rides in his career — all to left-handed riders. The stats say more right-handed guys should ride him — most bulls are ridden more often by guys who take advantage of the bull spinning into their hands. It’s a little easier to ride a bull that spins into your hand, mainly because you can get away with making small mistakes and even being a little bit late with your moves by just making a bigger move. When bull riders get a bull that spins into their hand they can usually ride with some flair. But, that is not true with I’m a Gangster Too. There is zero margin for error on him, and there is no catching up to him if you get a bit behind. Guys who know he’s going away from their hand know they cannot make a mistake, and they know their moves have to be precise. Most riders don’t think about precision on a bull going into their hand because for most riders it’s not a problem area.

Shane Proctor on 62 Mr. Bull:

These two have met once before — at a Touring Pro event in Salinas, California, in 2013. It didn’t go well for Proctor — he was off in 1.29 seconds. But, this is still the bull to have in this round. Mr. Bull is everything riders want a bull to be. He’s good enough to win on, he has a lot of kick, and he’s fairly predictable. He doesn’t have a defining characteristic — he does everything well. He will spin to the left right in the gate, and Proctor will have to do everything perfectly to get him ridden, but there’s probably not another guy he would trade with in this round.

Mike Lee on 058 American Sniper:

This bull should go to the left, but right handed Matt Triplett is the only guy who has ridden him. The reason is the same as with I’m a Gangster Too — there is no room for error on either bull. Sniper will have bigger, longer jumps, more whip, and spends more time in the air than Gangster does, but he’s strong enough to punish even the slightest error. Lee will have to be precise to get a score here.

Stetson Lawrence on 1073/9 Roy:

Roy can be one of the most exciting bulls to watch in the PBR. He will spin to the left, and at times he can drift across the arena better than any bull ever has. He’s got a lot of flash, and doesn’t have a lot of power, and he can be one of the better bulls to ride in his class, because he spends all his energy into spinning and not as much jumping and dropping. Lawrence has a chance to win this round if he can convert.

Nathan Schaper on 821 Wild Eyes:

We haven’t seen very much of this bull because he’s only been on tour once before. Marco Eguchi was 88.75 points in him in Tacoma, Washington, last season. He’s been around on the rodeo circuit quite a bit, and he’s been ridden a number of times, mostly by right-handed riders. He hasn’t gone up against the top riders as often as bulls that are regulars on tour, but when he has faced them, they’ve ridden him pretty often.

Guilherme Marchi on 02 Beaver Creek Beau:

Ben Jones became the first man to ride Beau on tour just last week in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Marchi has tried him twice before and didn’t stay aboard very long. Beau goes to the right, which Marchi prefers, but he’s incredibly strong and unusually slow.

Fabiano Vieira on T74 Hang Time:

This is a rematch from the 2013 World Finals, where Vieira came down in 4.49 seconds. We’ve seen Hang Time on tour several times — mostly at events in the northwest, and he’s really pretty good at putting the best riders on the ground. Markus Mariluch is the only man who has ridden him, and he did it at a 2013 Touring Pro event. There have been times when he’s looked really outstanding.

Ben Jones on 90 Boot Jack:

Jones is coming off a big time ride on Beaver Creek Beau last week, and this bull couldn’t be more similar to Beau. He’s a little bit faster, but he’s a big strong bull that should go to the right. Jones is the kind of rider who should do well on bulls like this, because he will let it all hang out. He’s got nothing to lose, and that attitude can help a guy ride the more difficult bulls.

Valdiron de Oliveira on 922 Modified Clyde:

Oliveira was 87.5 points on Clyde to win second in a round in Sacramento, California, and this is a great draw for him except for a couple of factors. Clyde is pretty unpredictable as far as which way he will spin. He went to the right, into Oliveira’s hand, in their previous matchup, but he’s just as likely to go to the left which will make him more difficult for a right-handed rider. He’s also pretty bad in the chute, and Oliveira isn’t very good at getting out of the chute on any bull, much less one that acts up.

Kaique Pacheco on 706 Percolator:

Percolator is the bull to have in this round. This bull is a paragon of a quality bucking bull. He leaps high, he shows well, and he doesn’t have a lot of breakover or drop. He’s the kind of bull every rider here wants every time, but he’s good enough that he doesn’t allow many qualified rides. Pacheco had him in Anaheim, California, and didn’t get the job done, but he did stay aboard for 5 seconds.

J.W. Harris on 001 Smooth Operator:

Smooth Operator is unridden so far, and he’s one of the bulls that will play into the World Champion bull race this season, if he continues at his current performance pace. He can spin either way, he’s strong, and he looks honest, but based on where he’s been picked in the draft rounds, he’s not a rider favorite. If Harris can get him ridden, we’ll see a score well over 90 points. This bull has the potential to get a guy the highest score of a season, much less a round or event.

Silvano Alves on 1237 Walk Off:

Alves has faced this bull three times before, and hasn’t ridden him, although he did take him to 7.62 seconds in Laughlin, Nevada, last fall. Walk Off is a test for anyone, and especially for Alves, who isn’t as dominant right now as he normally is.

Joao Ricardo Vieira on 1037 Cooper Tires Brown Sugar:

This won’t be an easy ride to make for Vieira, but it could be a big time score if he can pull it off. Brown Sugar will make a big fake to the left and then spin to the right, and he won’t get any easier as the ride goes on — he’ll get harder. This is a bull that really brings it, and a guy who has been riding very well lately.

Follow Slade Long on Twitter @Probullstats

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