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The Morning Line: St. Louis, Day 1

Get ready for a long weekend. Some of these guys will get on five bulls this weekend, and typically St. Louis is one of the better events for bull power that we see all year. We should see quite a few qualified rides in tonight’s round. There are a lot of matchups that look good for the rider.

Ben Jones on 1275 Joe the Grinder:

Joe the Grinder has been ridden a couple of times in nine career outs, and only by right- handed guys. He’s turned in some very good bull scores, and Ben could potentially be a lot of points here. Stormy Wing had him in his only out this season in Oklahoma City and didn’t get the job done.

Joao Ricardo Vieira on 025 The Kraken:

This is a rematch from Oklahoma City, where Vieira was 87.75 points on The Kraken. He placed fifth in a tough round there, but that kind of score will win a lot of BFTS long rounds.

Kasey Hayes on 1-1 Western Way:

Hayes is one of the better riders at handling bulls that spin into his hand. He doesn’t let a lot of them get away. Western Way is all about spinning to the left — as soon as they open the gate he’s going to the left as hard and as fast as he can. This bull puts out a lot of effort, and he isn’t ridden all that often. Billy Robinson won second in a round in New York on him.

Tanner Byrne on 842 Hou’s Back:

Hou’s Back has given up four rides in his last four outs, and he’s produced some good scores as well. The only drawback to him for Byrne is that he typically will move forward at some point and go back into a spin in the same direction. When Ty Murray talks about tall bull riders being at a disadvantage, he’s right. But, they are at a bigger disadvantage on bulls that move forward or bulls that don’t kick enough. Those are two things that every rider dislikes, but both affect taller riders more because of basic physics.

Zane Lambert on 708 The Rocker:

This is a pretty good draw for any of these guys, but he’s really good for a right-handed rider. The Rocker likes to spin to the right, and there’s nothing particularly tricky about him. He’s not the best bull in this round, and he won’t be an automatic round win, but he’s very good, and can easily earn a rider some round points.

Cooper Davis on 15U Electric Prune:

I always like whoever has this bull because Electric Prune is one of the most reliable round winning bulls in the PBR. Just about every time someone stays on him they get a lot of round points. J.B. Mauney won a round on him in New York this season. He’ll spin away from Davis’ hand here, but he’s not been too difficult for right-handed riders in the past. As it happens, Davis has been on him before. He won second at a rodeo on Electric Prune two years ago.

Mike Lee on -3 Johnny Walker Black Jr.

Johnny Walker Black has been ridden the past five times he’s appeared on tour, and four of those times guys placed in the round on him. The last time he bucked a guy off at the BFTS level was at this event a year ago, where he got the best of Austin Meier in Round 3. Lee has a pretty good shot at coming away with a good score.

Nathan Schaper on 311 What Up Sucka:

Schaper has had this bull before and bucked off — at a Touring Pro Division event back in 2011. But, this is a bull that has been pretty good for left-handed riders since then. He’s been ridden in five of his last seven outs at the BFTS level, more often than not by left-handed guys. We didn’t see him on tour at all last season, but in 2013 and 2012 he was pretty active.

J.W. Harris on 976 Slick Rick:

This will be the BFTS debut for this bull, but he’s given up a couple of big rides at the Touring Pro level, both to right-handed riders. Harris will be the best rider he’s faced by far,  and a tough test for Slick Rick on his first day.

J.B. Mauney on 906 Pistol Pete:

This is a bull that we haven’t seen too much at the BFTS level, but he goes to a lot of Touring Pro events. He’s been ridden a few times, but he hasn’t been ridden in a while. The last time he gave up a score was in April of last year. He looks like a bull that Mauney could be a lot of points on, but he also looks like he wouldn’t be much fun for a guy who’s already hurting.

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