NEW YORK – There’s a plot twist in Round 2. About one-third of the bulls out tonight are making their Built Ford Tough Series debut, or are otherwise not very well known, and the high profile guys mostly drew in that group. That may not be a bad thing for them. Jess Lockwood split the round win on a brand new bull last night.
Among the guys who drew a big question mark are Matt Triplett, Mason Lowe and Silvano Alves, all of whom finished in the Top 5 in the first round. Ryan Dirteater, who finished tied for seventh, Cooper Davis and Kaique Pacheco also drew bulls we know little about. Davis and Pacheco both came down early in Round 1, but both of them looked solid enough.
Derek Kolbaba on 30 Light ‘em Up:
This makes two good draws in a row for Kolbaba. He put up 86.5 points last night, and he’s got a bull he’s ridden before here. Kolbaba scored 87 points on Light’ em Up in Pendleton, Oregon, back in September. This is a bull that has struggled to get left-handed riders on the ground, and he hasn’t really faced many of the top-tier guys.
J.W. Harris on 1212 Gambini:
We haven’t seen Gambini at the BFTS level, but he’s been around at the lower levels. He’s been ridden twice in just six career outs, once by Neil Holmes and once by Marco Eguchi, neither of whom are quite as solid a rider as Harris is.
Jess Lockwood on 311x Blue Gangster:
This is another bull we know little about, and this is his BFTS debut, but we do know Matt Triplett rode him for 87.5 points in Memphis, Tennessee, just before the World Finals. In fact, Blue Gangster carried Triplett to a short round win and an event win there. Lockwood looked as sharp as he could possibly be last night, and he’s got a shot to put two scores together.
Fabiano Vieira on 01Z Rocco:
Rocco has been just ridden three times in 27 career outs, but he often doesn’t look very difficult. The key factor with him is that he’s very unpredictable. He can spin either way, and can effectively feint one way and go the other. Once he does get into a spin he’s liable to reverse it at some point. He’s a bull no rider can go to sleep on. Vieira won’t be easy to shake. He’s one of the best riders in PBR history, although he doesn’t have a World Championship to show for it.
Chase Outlaw on 700 Fire Bender:
This has the same potential that Triplett’s matchup against Little Red Jacket had last night. J.W. Harris won the opening round here in New York last year on this bull. Fire Bender is a solid bull with good speed and good timing who likes to go to the left, and Outlaw is likely to get a big score here.
Eduardo Aparecido on 73 Big Dan:
Big Dan is a veteran bull who is a good draw for every rider. He spins to the left, and he’s been a much better fit for left-handed riders, but he has such good timing that right-handed guys can win on him too. His bucking style is reminiscent of Chad Berger’s Smackdown, but he’s not as heavy and strong as Smackdown was.
Dakota Buttar on 177 Time Bomb:
If you remember last year in New York, Joao Ricardo Vieira won the short round on this bull with a 90-point score. Time Bomb went the rest of the year unridden, and threw Buttar off at the World Finals in Round 4. Still, this is an interesting matchup because Buttar is probably familiar with this bull. Time Bomb originally came from Canada. He moved here in late 2014. Buttar followed later, and now we have a Canadian rider on a Canadian bull in the biggest U.S. city.
Brant Atwood on 96 Fire Rock:
Atwood has been on this bull before, and he didn’t make the whistle, but he’s worth a mention here because every rider has a chance against this bull. Fire Rock isn’t easy, but he’s a classy bull who usually likes jumping more than spinning. He’s pretty good at both. While he’s not often ridden, lots of riders take him a long way into it. He rarely gets a quick buckoff, and that is characteristic of a bull who feels good to the rider. Atwood didn’t get on the board last night, but he might here.
Jorge Valdiviezo on 281 Shakey:
Shakey has been ridden twice in his short career, and Valdiviezo is one of the guys who got a score on him. They met in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, last spring, and Valdiviezo walked away with an 86.5-point score. Valdiviezo is a plucky rider who seems to do well on bulls that fit him, and this one obviously does.
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