As is the case with most Unleash The Beast events, the bulls in this round will be a step up from Round 1. Several short-round difficulty level bulls are set to go in Round 2, and there are a number of good matchups.
Cody Teel on 450 Scarface:
Scarface is one of the prettiest bulls around, and he’s been a solid performer going back a couple of years. He’s not the easiest bull to stay on. He’s 17-6 in his career, and 11-1 against right-handed riders. His last few outs include buckoffs against J.B. Mauney, Jess Lockwood and Joe Frost. Teel is more than good enough to handle this bull, but it won’t be easy. This is an even matchup overall.
Dener Barbosa on V72 Skitso:
Barbosa is strong against bulls that go into his hand, and he has one here that should do that. Daylon Swearingen was 88 on this bull just last month. Barbosa finished fourth in the opening round, and he could pick up another good score to go with that here.
Jose Vitor Leme on 503 Pan Am:
Pan Am has only been ridden once in seven career outs, but Leme is likely to change that. This bull likes the left, and he has really good timing. The only way Leme loses this matchup is if he drops the ball or the bull learns to change things up or break rhythm.
Matt Triplett on 517 Space Force:
Triplett should be able to pick up a second score on this bull. Space Force is a textbook spinner with decent timing. He has some difficulty – he stays close to the ground and doesn’t give riders much time to adjust, and he can move forward and reverse the spin – but these are things Triplett can handle as long as Space Force has even timing.
Derek Kolbaba on B87 Wicked Hou:
This bull has a solid buckoff record against all but the best riders he’s gone against. He tends to drift around in the spin instead of staying in one spot, and that makes him tricky, but he also has smooth timing, which makes him vulnerable. He’s a step up in difficulty from Kolbaba’s Round 1 draw, but Kolbaba should win this match.
Claudio Montanha Jr. on Z26 Acting Crazy:
Acting Crazy is one of the best long round bulls in the business and also one of the more difficult long round bulls to stay on. He’s a veteran with nearly 50 outs at the UTB level and has been remarkably consistent – he rarely has a bad day. He doesn’t overpower riders or overextend himself – he’s more of a quick spinner with decent timing – but he never lets any rider get comfortable. He keeps bringing it and forces riders to work pretty hard to get a score. Montanha has been on him four times and ridden him twice. This bull really tests a rider’s effort and try, and weak effort won’t get it done against him.
Brennon Eldred on 303 Force Awaken:
This bull will probably go away from Eldred’s hand, but near perfect timing and a lack of dirty tricks have made him an easy target for top tier riders; he’s 6-11 against them overall. He’s almost never ridden by lower level guys. Eldred has a chance to put two scores together here, and consistency is what he needs.
Joe Frost on 50 ZZ Top:
Frost was 84 points in Round 1 and has a chance to get a second-round score here. This bull is likely to go to the left, and the biggest issue with him is that he doesn’t have quite enough kick to help the rider get set for the next jump. He makes the rider do the work. Frost will have to stay alert and near perfect here, but he is capable of winning this matchup.
Jess Lockwood on A6 Church Bells:
Church Bells is one of the nicest draws in this round for a left-handed rider. He has almost no chance of beating Lockwood, who has ridden close to 70 percent of his bulls since returning from a broken collarbone earlier this year and his last six in a row at this level.
Daylon Swearingen on 514B Constant Sorrow:
Swearingen is starting to look like the killer young talent he was rumored to be from the beginning of the season. A far back as March there was quite an insider buzz about this guy, and rightly so. He’s impressive to watch. Constant Sorrow will test him. This bull isn’t the best fit for him, but Swearingen has spent the last couple weeks manhandling bulls that are supposed to be able to throw him off.