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The Morning Line: Tulsa, Day 1

By: Slade Long
August 12, 2017

TULSA, Okla. – The Built Ford Tough Series gets the second half of the season started Saturday night at Tulsa’s BOK Center. Saturday will feature Round 1 and a 15/15 Bucking Battle.

Round One:

Eduardo Aparecido on 44A Smooth Over:

There hasn’t been a true standout bull in the ABBI Classic division this season, but Smooth Over has been among the best in the class all year. He is a wild and showy bull with a lot of action. He’s the kind of bull that is easy for the judges to evaluate, and even spectators can see that he brings a lot of intensity. The only knock on him is that he lacks real power at times. This is one of the more interesting matchups in this round because the top ranked rider is going against what may be the most seasoned Classic competitor here.

Dener Barbosa on 344 Lebanon Levi:

Chase Outlaw rode this bull for 87.5 points in Little Rock, Arkansas, earlier this season. If the bull has the same trip here, he’s well within Barbosa’s comfort zone. The unknown variable in this equation is Barbosa himself. He’s as talented as any rider here, but at times he doesn’t bring everything to the table.

Derek Kolbaba on 20A High Test:

Like Smooth Over, High Test has been one of the more experienced and consistent ABBI Classic bulls this season. He typically goes to the right, and that will be away from Kolbaba’s hand, but Kolbaba does have a good chance here. High Test is solid, but not unrideable.

Joao Ricardo Vieira on A61 Switch Hitter:

Vieira had this bull in Albuquerque, New Mexico, this year and was bucked off quickly. Don’t look for that to happen again. This bull reliably goes to the left, and he’s certainly not too much for Vieira to handle going into his hand.

Tanner Byrne on A6 Church Bells:

This may be the best bull to draw in this group. Since February, Church Bells has been ridden four times in eight outs and for good scores.  Church Bells is a solid performer with good timing and fairly predictable moves. Byrne should be able to start this event off with a good score.

Jess Lockwood on IV37 Astro:

Astro is making his BFTS debut here. He’s earned respectable numbers at lower levels of competition, and he threw Mike Lee off just a week ago in Allen, Texas. Lockwood hasn’t been idle through the summer break. He’s been riding as well as he has all year, and he will be the biggest test this bull has yet faced.

Nevada Newman on 24-A Land Shark:

Newman is returning to the BFTS after an early season injury, and he’ll face a bull that is making his PBR debut here. The Pages have keep Land Shark on the rodeo circuit for most of the past two seasons, and at times he’s posted gaudy numbers.

15/15 Bucking Battle:

Claudio Montanha Jr. on 106 Sosa’s Alley Cat:

This is a rock-solid bull who we’ve seen in a couple of short rounds this season. He goes to the left, and he’s fairly strong. That will make him tough for right-handed Montanha, but Montanha is a rider you can never underestimate.

Cody Nance on 1173 Gangster’s Wildside:

These two have met once before and Nance bucked off. That’s not too surprising because everyone who has tried this bull has bucked off. He’s 18-0 in his career. We often mention bulls that have great timing. This one doesn’t, and it has served to make him one of the tougher bulls going right now.

Shane Proctor on J1 What’s Under Your Hood:

Guilherme Marchi rode this bull in Thackerville, Oklahoma, about a year ago, and that’s significant because Marchi is the only man to have gotten a score on What’s Under Your Hood in 32 career outs. Look for this bull to have some forward movement in the spin. That’s where his difficulty lies. He doesn’t do much to help the rider. He does like the right, which gives Proctor a chance, but this is a tough task.

Cody Teel on T78 Big City:

Big City is brand new to the PBR, but he’s not a rookie bull. He was one of three bulls in the running for PRCA Bull of the Year along with SweetPro’s Bruiser and Midnight Bender, and many thought he had a stronger claim to the title than Midnight Bender who ultimately won it. Teel, coming from the rodeo world himself, knows this bull well, and that makes this an intriguing matchup.

Rubens Barbosa on 1212 Gambini:

This is a rematch from Tacoma, Washington, in April, and Gambini won the day there. Gambini is unridden this season, and has only given up two qualified rides in 15 career outs. The odds are with the bull here especially since he’s beaten Barbosa once before.

Mason Lowe on Z8/8 Losing My Religion:

This is one of the least hyped bulls in this round, but he does have a pretty impressive record. He’s been ridden just once in 24 career outs. He can have an off day occasionally, but at the World Finals last year he thumped Eduardo Aparecido emphatically in Round 4. Lowe will have his hands full here.

Cooper Davis on -147 TLW’s Big Cat:

TLW’s Big Cat is one of the most efficient bulls in the PBR at throwing guys off. He’s a big bull with a lot of power, and he’s not afraid to throw his weight around. That said, Davis may be the toughest matchup for him of anyone at this event. Big Cat goes to the right, and Davis is right-handed. Davis doesn’t rely on strength to stay on bulls, and that’s perfect here because that isn’t a viable strategy against a bull this powerful. The odds are with the bull here, but Davis may be able to beat those odds.

Joao Ricardo Vieira on Y16 Brutus:

Vieira was bucked off by Brutus quickly at Iron Cowboy this past February, but there’s no guarantee things will go the same way this time. Brutus can be rank enough to spark discussion about his chances for World Champion Bull, but at times he has trips where he’s much better to ride. If Brutus falls into a pattern of jumping and kicking in the same spot, Vieira can handle him. If he doesn’t, Vieira comes down.

Stormy Wing on Y4 Wired Child:

This is a veteran bull who is sometimes used in short rounds mainly due to his difficulty factor. He tends to cover a lot of ground, and he will usually jump out of a spin if it’s not working to get rid of a rider. He’s been good enough at the game to compile a 30-4 career record. Wing has a chance here, but he’ll have to face some adversity to get it done.

Matt Triplett on W37 Cochise:

Triplett is one of the best riders around on bulls that go away from his hand, but this bull may be a bit too much for any right-handed rider. Cochise can have a mean corner to the left, and he may have the strongest first jump or two in the business. Derek Kolbaba was able to ride him earlier this year largely because he eased up on his first jump and the corner that day. Triplett is the underdog here, but a nice trip from Cochise could change things.

Chase Outlaw on 1206 Cut The Cord:

These two met in Little Rock this spring, and Cut the Cord dominated Outlaw there. Outlaw may not have been aboard long enough to get any kind of feel for this bull. Cut the Cord is 27-1 in his career, and is 16-0 against left-handed riders. He consistently goes to the right, and few lefties have looked comfortable on him.

Jess Lockwood on 045 Seven Dust:

Lockwood certainly has his work cut out for him here. Seven Dust is the toughest bull at this event, and one of the five toughest bulls going anywhere right now. It wouldn’t be unfair to describe Lockwood the same way, though, and that makes this the marquee matchup of the night. The odds of a qualified ride aren’t the highest here compared to other matchups in this round, but this is a legitimate case of the best against the best.

Derek Kolbaba on 056 Rodeo Time:

This is the most handsome bull in the back pens in a sense. He’s a throwback to an earlier era in rodeo when there were a lot of scary looking bulls with big horns. Because widespread breeding has changed the look of the average bull today, there aren’t many bulls around with old school looks. This one has the chops to match his looks too. He’s put down 33 of the 36 riders he’s faced in his career. This won’t be a day off for Kolbaba – he’ll have to work.

Kaique Pacheco on 567 Lester Gillis:

This will probably be the consensus pick to win the round, because Pacheco has ridden this bull before. However, there are two factors that could come into play here. One, Pacheco’s ride in St. Louis was the only time Lester Gillis has ever been ridden. He’s not an easy bull to get by. Two, if this turns out to be a repeat of St. Louis, there are still several other matchups in the round that could easily outscore this one.

Eduardo Aparecido on 222 Mystikal:

Although Mystikal has only given up one qualified ride in 21 career outs, Aparecido could buck the odds and take the round win here. Mystikal is a solid bull who likes to go to the right, and Aparecido is having a career year so far. If he can weather this bull’s first few jumps and get into the spin with him he’s got a good chance to go all the way.

Follow Slade Long on Twitter @probullstats

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