By: Slade Long
Dener Barbosa on 027 Concealed Carry:
This may be the best matchup in the round. The last four times Concealed Carry has faced a left-handed rider, he’s given up a score of 88.75 points or more, resulting in three round wins and a third-place finish. Barbosa is coming off a huge 90-point ride against a much tougher bull last week.
Jose Vitor Leme on 442 Blue Crush:
Leme is 1-for-2 against this bull, but there’s a lot more to it. No normal bull is going to give Leme much trouble, but Blue Crush is far from normal. He’s wild and out of line, and sometimes can’t decide when to go into a spin. He can get way up in the air, but he typically doesn’t have a lot of drop, and that makes him feel like he’s always going up, up and away. Bulls like this are really hard to stay on going away from a rider’s hand because they do absolutely nothing to help the rider. This is how Blue Crush beat Leme the last time they met. This bull will be a real challenge for Leme, and a lot depends on which way he decides to spin.
Colten Fritzlan on 520C @PBR on TikTok:
TikTok is 7-8 against right-handed riders, making him one of the best draws in the round for any righty looking for a qualified ride. This bull has given up a few round wins, but Marcelo Procopio Pereira was only 84 points on him in Sioux Falls.
Eduardo Aparecido on 1518 Uncle Gangster:
Aparecido is 2-for-2 on this bull; they met twice in 2019. Uncle Gangster is a little bit of an oddity in that he’s usually out of a right-hand delivery, but he’s just as likely to go to the left. A lot depends on which way he spins here, because Aparecido has much less trouble with bulls that go into his hand.
Marco Eguchi on 33C Slice of Heaven:
This bull has kept a very light schedule. He’s been around since 2018 and only has 11 outs on record. He’s 2-3 against right-handed riders, and this makes Eguchi the favorite in this matchup.
Kaique Pacheco on 22E DJ Long John:
Not much history for this bull, but he was outstanding in Oklahoma City against Cody Nance, and he went to the right. Pacheco is hard to beat going into his hand, and a 44-plus-point bull could get him a round win. Pacheco won the event last week even though he kept a low score in Round 2. He was the only guy to stay on three bulls.
However, the outcome of last week’s event illustrates Pacheco’s problem in the world title race. He beat Leme by only 35 points despite winning the event and Leme bucking off in one round. Pacheco is leading the standings, but if everything continues at the current pace and everyone stays healthy, Leme will run away with the title because he out-earns everyone in points per attempt and points per qualified ride. Playing it safe does pay off on occasion, but no one will be able to beat Leme by consistently playing it safe over the long term. Every other rider in the race has to maximize every opportunity for points or get left behind as long as Leme is healthy.
To give you some idea of how big a deal this is, consider that on the 2021 season so far, the point value of getting on 10 bulls is:
315 points for Leme
148 points for Pacheco
140 for Vieira
175 for Davis
96 for Barbosa
Alex Cerqueira on 612 Ridin’ Solo:
Cerqueira is 0-2 against this bull, but every left-hander has a fighting chance against him. Solo likes to go to the left, and he has world-class talent, but he’s reasonably honest.
Boudreaux Campbell on 346 Mr. Winston:
This is a good bull and a good draw for a 15/15 round. Mr. Winston has been ridden three times this year in seven outs, and that makes him an absolute ringer compares to the other bulls in the round. He does like to go to the right, and that could be a problem. Campbell’s success depends heavily on the bull going into his hand, and this one probably won’t.
Eduardo Aparecido on 57 Diddy Wa Diddy:
Aparecido and Campbell probably wish they could trade bulls because they are both in the same situation. Diddy Wa Diddy is a great draw for lefties, but he’s 9-0 against right-handed guys. Aparecido does have a chance, though. This bull is pretty honest, and he hasn’t faced a lot of high-level right-handed riders.
Junior Patrik Souza on 513 Boogie Bomb:
This could be the easiest draw in the round for a lefty. Boogie Bomb is 2-7 in his career against lefties. Souza was near the top of the standings earlier this season, but he hasn’t made an 86-plus-point ride since January. However, he could get one with this matchup.
Keyshawn Whitehorse on 622 High Brow Cat:
Whitehorse is in a slump right now, and this bull won’t be a free ticket out of it. High Brow Cat is not a bad matchup for anyone, but he’s no day off. He is significantly easier to ride than the next five bulls in a row, however.
Mauricio Moreira on 162 The Right Stuff:
Jose Vitor Leme and Jess Lockwood have the only two rides ever made on this bull. Leme proved just last week that The Right Stuff is not impossible, but he didn’t exactly make it look easy. Moreira will be fighting an uphill battle against a shifty bull with many weapons for getting riders off his back.
Silvano Alves on Marquis Metal Works Coriolis Effect:
This bull can be pretty scary. He has a lot of power and leverages all of it against the rider’s hand. He’s hard to hang on to. He also goes to the left. Alves is a huge underdog, and it will be a shocking upset if he gets to the whistle on Coriolis Effect.
Derek Kolbaba on 679 I’m Busted:
Kolbaba bucked off this bull last summer. I’m Busted is 22-2 in his career, and the two rides came in back-to-back weeks earlier this season – both by Joao Ricardo Viera. He does like the left, but he can have some forward movement.
Marco Eguchi on 124 Woopaa:
Woopaa has four outs on the season, and two of those were 47-plus points. If he can reach eight outs at the pace he’s currently on, he will be the bull to beat for the world title. He is rideable, obviously, but I don’t know that any right-hander in the game has a decent chance against him right now. Eguchi is a huge underdog here.
Colten Fritzlan on 449 WSM’s Jive Turkey:
Jive Turkey is 17-0 against right-handed riders in his career, and he’s faced some good ones. He has good timing, but he goes to the left relentlessly. Fritzlan is really good at corrections and quickly recovering from mistakes, but this bull won’t give him much of a window. He will need to be mistake-free to have a chance.
Dener Barbosa on W600 Marquis Metal Works Red Clark:
This is another bull who is in the thick of the World Champion Bull race. He’s unridden so far, and Barbosa bucked off of him just a month ago. He does go to the left, and Barbosa was 90 points on an equally tough bull to the left last weekend.
Cooper Davis on 22D King Brute:
This is a great draw for Davis and a great chance for him to make a move in the standings that he can’t afford to miss on. King Brute goes into Davis’s hand, and he’s 1-2 against right-handed guys. Marco Eguchi was 91 points on him in Oklahoma City.
Joao Ricardo Vieira on 624 Homegrown:
Vieira was 91 points on this bull in the short round in Oklahoma City, and he’s probably thrilled to have him again. Homegrown has been ridden in four of his last five outs, and two of those were 91-plus-point rides.
Jose Vitor Leme on A1 The Sauce:
The Sauce is unridden in 13 career outs, but he’s got two problems with this matchup. One, he goes to the left, and two, he has no horns. What are the chances that a bull with no horns can throw off Leme going into his hand? The Sauce’s unridden streak may in serious danger here.
Kaique Pacheco on 500 I’m Legit Too:
Pacheco bucked off this bull last fall in Nampa, Idaho. I’m Legit Too is almost certain to go away from Pacheco’s hand, and he’s quite good at denying right-handed riders. He’s only been ridden by righties twice, and both times were on off days. Every rider has his share of this kind of matchup where success is unlikely, but in terms of the title race, Pacheco has to find a way to make every opportunity pay.
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