By: Slade Long
Jose Vitor Leme on 914 Lights Out:
Leme should be on cruise control here. He has a 77% chance of winning this matchup, which is as high as the probability of a qualified ride ever gets. Less than one percent of real rider/bull matchups would get a prediction of more than 70%, and it only happens when you have an extremely dominant rider and a really easy bull. Lights Out is 2-4 in his career, 0-4 at the UTB level, and 0-3 against lefties. Leme is so good that his Round 1 score of 87.75 points and a third-place split in the round caused his PBR world points earning rate to drop slightly. Before last night, he was earning 40 points per qualified ride, and now it’s 39.
Clayton Sellars on 175 Ghost of Oscar:
Sellars is an alternate who made his UTB debut last night, but as you saw, he is not really a newcomer to the sport. He’s been on as many bulls as anyone this year and has qualified for the last two NFRs. He was 88 points to split the Round 1 win with Derek Kolbaba. He has a rideable bull in Round 2. Chase Dougherty was 87 points on Ghost of Oscar just last month.
Keyshawn Whitehorse on 21 Jaynettes Pet 2:
This bull threw Ramon de Lima off in Round 1, and he threw Jess Lockwood off in Billings back in May, but he’s really weak to right-handed riders; he’s 3-5 against them. Whitehorse bucked off in Round 1 but has a great draw here.
Eli Vastbinder on 3049-5 Cheii Swagger:
The prediction machine gives Vastbinder great odds to win this matchup. Vastbinder has ridden well recently, although he came down last night. This bull has not faced many high-level riders, yet he’s been ridden three times in seven career outs. There are many unknowns here, but usually, a bull that gives up more than 40% qualified rides to lower-level guys will be a pushover against UTB-level riders.
Derek Kolbaba on -734 Hooper Scooper:
Kolbaba split the Round 1 win with 88 points on a re-ride. His re-ride bull was a much better fit for him than the bull he originally drew, and that’s not uncommon. There’s a much better chance of getting a great matchup out of the re-ride pen than out of the long-round draw because the re-ride bulls tend to be proven and solid bulls you can win on. Hooper Scooper is less of a perfect match for Kolbaba. He threw Dener Barbosa off last night and is 3-1 overall.
Chase Dougherty on E21 Skirt Chaser:
Skirt Chaser has a great-looking record at 11-3 overall, and he’s been solid against good riders. The catch is that left-handed riders have a great-looking record against him. He’s 2-3 against lefties. Dougherty was hot early last month, but he’s bucked off his last four in a row.
Cody Jesus on E23 BB King:
Jesus is set up pretty well to win this event, maybe more so than Leme. He and Leme were both 87.75 points last night, and Jesus has Leme’s Round 1 bull here. He has the same potential to show off bulls and get great scores out of them. This bull is likely to produce a higher score than Leme’s Round 2 draw, and that could give him the edge and top pick in the short round.
Cooper Davis on C23 Smoke Show:
Davis didn’t have the best draw in the first round, but he has a good one in the second. Smoke Show will probably go away from his hand, but this is a rideable bull with good timing. Jose Vitor Leme won a round on him in Anaheim when the PBR was last here in 2019.
Marcelo Procopio Pereira on 777 Fred:
This is a brand new bull. His first recorded out was last night, and Clayton Sellars was 88 points on him. Pereira placed sixth in the opening round and has a chance to double up.
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