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The Morning Line: World Finals, Day 2

Morning Line – World Finals Round 2:

Tonight’s round consists of the best 40 bulls here, and that means all the bulls (except Bruiser) who are in the World Champion Bull race. It also means that qualified rides will be hard to come by. Even for the guys at the very top, these bulls are a real test. Bruiser had a great out last night and put 44.75 points on the board, but in my mind that isn’t enough. A bull will definitely need two outs better than 45 points to take the title, and at least a couple of these bulls will probably get that.

Douglas Duncan on 44W Stone Sober:

They’ve met twice before and Duncan has made it 3-4 seconds into the ride, which is more than you can say for a lot of guys who try this bull. Stone Sober goes to the left, and that gives Duncan a shot, but oh, man this bull can be the rankest thing around at times. He’s in the race for World Champion bull, and in a sense you can say this out represents J.W. Hart vs. Cody Lambert. Hart loves this bull, and Lambert doesn’t trust him. A great bull score for Stone Sober means Hart gets to say, “I told you so” and a misfire means Lambert gets that privilege.

Chase Outlaw on 922 Modified Clyde:

Outlaw knows exactly what this is going to be like because he has been on this bull four times before. He rode him the first time, two years ago, but he came up short three times since then. Clyde definitely has a pattern. He’s always the same, but he doesn’t always spin in the same direction. He is usually bad in the chute, and he’s hard to get out into the arena on. He is the type of bull that Outlaw should get along with, and it’s a little surprising that he’s 3-1 against him. I think that number should be flipped.

J.W. Harris on 106 Kill The Lights:

This is a Canadian bull making his BFTS debut here. He has the talent to be in this round, but he’s a better fit for Harris than most bulls out tonight are for the riders they are paired with. He likes to go to the right, he likes to get in the air, and he has decent timing. Against Harris all of those traits are weaknesses.

Kaique Pacheco on 001 Born Sinner:

Pacheco looked solid last night, and the touch he got called for was incidental and didn’t help him in any way, but those are the rules. He made a great ride and it didn’t count. That can be demoralizing, but so far this year, Pacheco has been indomitable. When things don’t go his way he bounces back. This bull is not a heavy hitter. He’s a smaller bull and he’s more of a trickster with one world class trick. When he goes into a spin his initial move is very fast and he gets most riders right at the corner. If you remember Shepherd Hills Trapper, he’s a lot like that. He plants his feet and ducks around so fast most guys can’t keep up. Once he’s in the spin he gets much easier to ride, so for Pacheco the challenge is getting around the corner. If he can do that he will ride this bull.

Fabiano Vieira on 80 Jeremiah:

This is an interesting matchup because while Vieira is one of the hardest riders to get on the ground, Jeremiah is one of the hardest bulls to ride. He has never given up a qualified ride, and is 27-0 in his career. To get a score, Vieira will have to break that streak. Jeremiah is one of the bulls gunning for a World Championship, so his performance here is important. He’s up against bulls that he doesn’t often out score.

Guilherme Marchi on 001 Smooth Operator:

Smooth Operator has been ridden just once in 34 career outs, and Marchi was the man who did it. This happened in Billings early this season and it was by far the weakest out we’ve seen from this bull. Marchi spent a lot of time in the chute with him, and it had to have had some effect on the bull’s performance that day. When Smooth Operator has his best trip he doesn’t look rideable. He can have an incredible amount of power and whip, and he overpowers everyone who gets on him. He likes to go to the right, and Marchi is strong on bulls into his hand, but if the bull has his day he will still win this. If he comes with anything less than his best, Marchi has a chance.

Kasey Hayes on 12 Circle T’s Crossfire:

This is a quality bull that likes to go to the left and looks rideable at times, but he never has been. He’s unridden in 35 career outs. He’s faced plenty of good riders, including J.B. Mauney, Fabiano Vieira, and Kaique Pacheco. His style should make him a decent fit for Hayes, but his record says he doesn’t fit anyone.

Renato Nunes on 927 Air Time:

These two are pretty familiar with one another. Nunes is the only man who has ridden Air Time. He did it in March 2014 and that was worth 92.5 points. Since then they’ve met three more times, each going the bull’s way. Of all the World Champion bull contenders, Air Time has the most athletic potential, and he’s capable of putting up bull scores the rest of the field can’t touch. The issue with him is the same as it was with Bushwacker. He needs someone to stay on him long enough for him to show his best stuff. He’s not usually fully charged up until the 3- or 4-second mark.

Ryan Dirteater on 21 Heavy Dose:

This is usually a pretty stout bull, but he’s young. In his first BFTS event, he put J.W. Harris on the ground in less than 2 seconds, but in his second out there he was very good to ride and Shane Proctor was 85.5 points on him. He could be one of the nicest bulls to ride in this round, but if he has his best trip he’ll probably be too much for Dirteater.

Stetson Lawrence on 045 Seven Dust:

This bull hasn’t been to a BFTS event before, but Lawrence was 89.5 points on him at the Calgary Stampede this summer. Overall, Seven Dust has been ridden twice in 12 career outs. He has thrown off a number of capable riders, but he hasn’t faced a lot of left-handed riders, and he does like to go to the left.

J.B. Mauney on 842 Hou’s Back:

Mauney had this same bull in Round 3 here last year and put up 90.25 points on him. It wasn’t a ride that Mauney completely dominated — the bull almost got the best of him. Hou’s Back was ridden in his very next outing after that in January 2015, but since then he is 8-0 against very strong riders. Like every other bull in this round, he’ll be a test, but one Mauney can pass.

Gage Gay on S02 Sasquatch:

Gay came down last night, but he’s got a better matchup here. Sasquatch isn’t ridden very often, but he’s a strong fit for a smaller right-handed rider. He’s going to the right with everything he’s got as soon as the gate opens. He carried Kaique Pacheco to an 88.75-point score in the short round in Charlotte just last month. A lot of Gage Gay’s best rides have come against bulls that are very similar to this one.

Cooper Davis on 316 Panda Trax:

Davis did very well last night, placing second in the round, and arguably could have won it. In this round of very hard-to-ride bulls, he managed to draw one he has ridden before. They met in Colorado Springs earlier this year, and Davis escaped with 87 points from what could have been a serious wreck. Panda Trax isn’t the best fit for him in this pen, mostly because Panda Trax isn’t a great fit for anyone. He’s seldom ridden, and he doesn’t have a style that helps the rider in any way, but after last night and having beaten this bull before, Davis has to feel pretty confident about this, and that is half the battle.

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