GREENSBORO, N.C. – Here are three things we learned from the Cooper Tires Take The Money and Ride this weekend at Greensboro Coliseum.
Pacheco pads world lead; surpasses $500,000 in season earnings
It is highly doubtful that D&H Cattle Company is willing to sell their bull Jack Shot, but world leader Kaique Pacheco sure has enough money to put together a solid offer if he ever wanted to make the purchase.
Pacheco successfully rode Jack Shot for the sixth time on Sunday during the duo’s 10th matchup at all levels of competition to propel himself to a third-place finish.
The world leader rode Jack Shot for 87.5 points to win the championship round and leave Greensboro with 340 points toward the world standings and $13,470.
Pacheco selected him with third pick of the championship-round draft.
“He is a great bull,” Pacheco said with the help of Paulo Crimber translating. “I have been on him 10 times and any time I get a chance to pick him, I will pick him.”
The $13,470 pushes Pacheco’s season earnings to $512,244.62.
Pacheco is the seventh rider to surpass the $500,000 earnings mark without including the World Finals and is the first premier series rider to accomplish the feat since Joao Ricardo Vieira in 2015.
More important, Pacheco is one step closer to earning the World Championship and its $1 million bonus.
Pacheco’s 3-for-3 performance in Greensboro has him 1,933.33 points ahead of No. 2 Claudio Montanha Jr. heading into the regular-season finale – the DeWalt Guaranteed Tough Invitational, presented by Cooper Tires, in Nampa, Idaho – next week.
The 24-year-old began his weekend with 83.5 points on Mickey Mouse and 84.25 points on Corn Star.
Pacheco’s work of precision has him pushing his challengers further and further behind.
Historically, a rider has to be within 2,000 points of the world leader heading into the World Finals to have a good shot at the championship.
Following Pacheco’s 3-for-3 showing, only Montanha Jr. and No. 3 Jose Vitor Leme (1,990) are within that mark.
No. 5 Ramon de Lima finished Greensboro in fourth place behind Pacheco with a 2-for-3 showing, but he is still 2,359.16 points behind.
However, a rider can still earn 3,300 points at the World Finals with a sweep of every round and the event average.
“It is really great to see that lead, but I try to not think about it too much,” Pacheco concluded. “I go bull by bull. Whatever is going to happen the next day is God willing. I am ready for anything and I just focus and pray to God. I thank him for everything he is doing in my life.
“I just keep a simple game plan.”
Triplett earns fourth event win of his career
Matt Triplett was alone in the locker room as he bent over in pain and grabbed at his riding wrist.
Sometimes the price of victory comes with a little bit of pain.
That sure is no problem for Triplett, though.
Triplett may have accidently sat on his wrist during his event-winning ride, but he was more than happy to ride Hart Breaker for 85.75 points in the championship round to notch himself his fourth career premier series win.
“First jump out there I went to get out over him and I sat on my freaking wrist,” Triplett said. “You just try to fight through every ride. Try and never give up. It is sore now, but I will be good for next week.”
Triplett headed into the championship round sitting in second place following rides aboard Shark Bait (87.25 points) and Dang It (86.5 points).
“Them bulls were really good,” Triplett said. “The first bull I had had only been rode one time in 21 outs. That is a really good bull of Rickey West. That bull is hard to ride. Dang It was a good bull of Jerome Davis.”
He then took the advice of his pal, Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour leader Michael Lane, who lives just south of Greensboro, and selected Hart Breaker.
“He knew that bull really well and said no doubt pick that bull and you will ride him,” Triplett said.
Triplett earned 555 world points to move from 27th in the world standings to 15th.
The Columbia Falls, Montana, bull rider missed the first five months of the season recovering from offseason reconstructive left shoulder surgery.
Now he is well on his way to his fifth World Finals with momentum on his side.
“This is huge because especially the last two weekends I bucked off and did no good,” Triplett said. “As long as I keep a good head and keep my mind right and don’t overthink it, I really think I can ride anything.
“Stick to the basics, don’t try so hard and do my job.”
Cannon Cravens wins two of three rounds in impressive debut
18-year-old Cannon Cravens said before the start of the event that he set a goal of qualifying for the World Finals despite having not gotten his PBR card until five months ago.
Cravens may not have earned the event win on Sunday, but his two round victories to start his premier series career have gone a long way toward putting him potentially in position to ride at the Finals on Nov. 7-11 at T Mobile Arena.
The Porum, Oklahoma, bull rider built off his 88.75-point ride on Reign Lashes Testified in Round 1 to win Round 2 Sunday with 87.5 points on Rebel Call.
“After last night I knew I could do it,” Cravens said during Round 2. “It was way easier today, that is for sure. He was leaning a little bit in the chute which had me a little nervous taking him how he was. I just slid up and went and it all worked out.”
The two round wins earned him 200 of his 380 world points in Greensboro.
Cravens ultimately finished in second place after bucking off Udder Lover in 4.52 seconds in the championship round. Cravens had selected the bovine athlete with the first pick of the draft.
Udder Lover was scored 45.5 to be named the high-marked bull of the event.
Cravens rockets from 61st in the world standings to 37th.
The teenager heads into Nampa only 40 points behind No. 35 Marcos Gloria.
“I am setting my mind on making the World Finals and it is right there,” Cravens said. “I know I can do it.”
According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, Sean Willingham missed the final day of action because of a left hamstring strain from Milwaukee that he aggravated Saturday night in Round 1.
Stetson Lawrence returned to competition in Round 2 after sustaining abdominal and chest wall contusions when he was stepped on after being thrown from his first-round bull (Fire In the Wind).
Three-time World Champion Silvano Alves had to be attended to by sports medicine after he was kicked in the back by Kid Fletcher in Round 2. Alves said following the event that he was OK.
GREENSBORO DRAW: ALTERNATES GET ANOTHER CRACK AT TOP 35 & LAWRENCE AVOIDS BROKEN NECK (10-10-18)
One man’s misfortune is another man’s opportunity.
That is certainly the case this weekend with World Champions Guilherme Marchi, Cooper Davis and Jess Lockwood all on the sidelines nursing their injuries.
Their injuries have added intrigue to the race for those at the bottom of the world standings heading into this weekend’s Cooper Tires Take The Money and Ride in Greensboro, North Carolina.
The three injured riders are being replaced in the draw by No. 36 Brock Radford, No. 37 Emilio Resende and No. 38 Cody Jesus.
It is a big opportunity for Jesus, who was unable to earn an alternate position and compete last weekend in Milwaukee.
Jesus did not ride anywhere and opted to rest after sustaining a concussion and a sprained left shoulder in Austin, Texas, two weeks ago.
The 20-year-old is still very much on the cusp of the Top 35 and a draw spot for the 2018 World Finals. He trails No. 35 Marcos Gloria by only 110 points with two regular-season events remaining.
He has drawn Hebe Gebee (2-0, PBR UTB) for Round 1 on Saturday night at Greensboro Coliseum.
Fans can watch all of the action exclusively on RidePass beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET.
Meanwhile, Radford (-5 points) and Resende (-100 points) can jump back into the Top 35 easily this weekend if they cover their bulls.
Radford is trying to grit his way through his torn left ACL/MCL and went 0-for-2 last weekend in his first event back.
He takes on Dark Matter (0-0, PBR UTB).
Resende is 1-for-4 since returning from reconstructive left shoulder surgery and has drawn Pneu Dart’s Walking Tall (1-0, PBR UTB).
Chase Outlaw was the only non-Top 35 rider to earn any world points (55 world points) last weekend in Milwaukee following his 87.5-point ride on Switch Hitter.
The 26-year-old still has his work cut out for him as he tries to make a late push at qualifying for the World Finals despite missing six months because of reconstructive shoulder surgery and an additional two and a half months because of serious facial fractures.
Outlaw heads into Round 1 on Saturday night sitting 442.5 points behind No. 35 Marcos Gloria and is ranked 67th in the world standings.
The Hamburg, Arkansas, bull rider will square off against 3511 Black Cat (0-0, PBR UTB).
No. 23 Stetson Lawrence is returning to competition after missing Championship Sunday in Milwaukee because of a neck injury.
X-rays this week showed no compression fractures, and Lawrence is cleared to face Fire In The Wind (0-0, PBR UTB) in Round 1.
“They thought I had compressed vertebrae, but I (talked to Dr. Tandy Freeman) and we are good to go for this weekend,” Lawrence said. “Just bull riding, man. Enough of that hanging up shit. Too rough on the body and doesn’t pay well.”
No. 26 Tanner Byrne (ankle) is set to return following a four-week layoff, while No. 32 Lonnie West remains out of competition because of a shoulder injury.
Byrne squares off against Jug Head (4-2, PBR UTB).
No. 60 Cannon Cravens is a talented 18-year-old to keep an eye on this weekend.
Cravens is the Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour invite courtesy of his victory in Huntington, West Virginia, two weeks ago.
“Man I have been waiting a long time for this, it just feels awesome,” Cravens told RidePass’ Colby Yates following the victory.
The Porum, Oklahoma, native comes highly recommended from 10-time World Finals qualifier and fellow Porum bull rider L.J. Jenkins.
Cravens is 13-for-28 (46.43 percent) at all levels of competition this season since making his PBR non-premier series debut in Shipshewana, Indiana, on May 25.
The teenager is slated to face Reign Lashes Testified (5-1, PBR UTB) in Round 1.
Cravens won the 2016 Rank Bull Rider Tour at 16 years old, a year after another teenager by the name of Koal Livingston, currently the No. 28 rider in the PBR world standings, won the title.
In 2014, Cravens won the National Junior High School Finals junior bull riding title.
World leader Kaique Pacheco has won three of the last five premier series events to open up a 1,598.33-point lead advantage on No. 2 Claudio Montanha Jr.
No. 108 Francisco Torres is this weekend’s Hispanic invite and is competing in his second premier series event. He was bucked off at Last Cowboy Standing in May. Torres is slated to face Picking Up Pennies.
Pacheco has drawn Mickey Mouse (0-1, PBR UTB) for Round 1 on Saturday night and could be in a position to add to his lead. Lachlan Richardson rode Mickey Mouse for 87.25 points in Atlantic City last month.
Two-time World Champion Bull and world No. 1 SweetPro’s Bruiser will be competing in the championship round on Sunday. It will be Bruiser’s first event of the second half and first since competing at some summer rodeos in July.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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