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Fit to be tied

11/8/2009

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LAS VEGAS — For the third round in a row, Kody Lostroh had the top score at the Professional Bull Riders World Finals, but this time, he had a lot of company.

Lostroh, of Longmont, Colo., shared the victory in Round Six with four other riders — Robson Palermo, Brian Canter, Aaron Roy and Cody Nance. All the riders scored 89.25 points on their respective bulls and all earned $14,000.

"I don't know if I've ever seen a five-way split in one round at the World Finals," Lostroh said. "It was dang sure a different night. But, it's kind of expected in this pen of bulls, too. They were so even that a lot of the bulls were cutting the same tracks, so you're going to have some ties."

For Lostroh, who rode the bull Chester of Mendell/Jaeger, it was his sixth ride in six attempts at this year's World Finals and it once again allowed him to stretch his lead over second-place J.B. Mauney in the season-long points race for the PBR world title.

Mauney successfully rode Beer Goggles of Don Kish Bucking Bulls, scoring 87.25 points, good for 12th place in the go-round.

The point differential was enough for Lostroh to stretch his lead to 1,034.50 points over Mauney heading into today's Round Seven and Round Eight. Mauney can still catch Lostroh, but it will probably require Lostroh to buck off at least one of his two remaining bulls and for Mauney to stay perfect.

"I'd being doing good if it wasn't for him," Mauney said with a smile. "He rides too good."

Mauney still leads the event average with 534.50 points, but Lostroh did pull within a half-point on Saturday night.

Valdiron de Oliviera of Aparecida de Goiania, Brazil is the only other rider to have stayed on all six of his bulls thus far. He scored an 88 on Maverick of Lukfin Ranch and Rodeo on Saturday night. He has 530 points on six rides.

Both Lostroh and Mauney said they plan to approach today's rounds the same way they have all the others.

"I approach tomorrow the same way I've been doing it all week," Lostroh said. "I don't care what everybody else does. I'm here to do my job. I'll leave it at that. I keep it as simple as possible because that's what works for me."

Mauney agreed, summing up his plans in two words:

"Stay on," he said. "That would be my best thing to do. Not worry about nothing, just do like I've been doing, just try to stay confident and relaxed and just have fun."

Many of the riders looked to be having fun on Saturday with an evenly-matched pen of bulls that should be ridden if the riders do their jobs. In all, 24 riders made the 8-second whistle, the highest ride total of any round at this year's Finals.

Palermo, of Rio Branco, Brazil kept his hope for a second consecutive World Finals event title alive with his tie for the Round Six win. He rode the bull Grey Dog of D&H Cattle Company.

Canter, of Randleman, N.C., rode Frosty of Circle T Ranch & Rodeo; while Roy, of Asquith, Saskatchewan, rode Big Iron of 4L & Diamond S Rodeo Company; and Nance, of Paris, Tenn., rode Foolish Pride of 4L & Diamond S Rodeo Company.

Palermo and Roy have each ridden five of their six bulls and will have the opportunity to play spoiler if any of the top three riders stumble in Rounds Seven or Eight, which start at 11:30 a.m. today, PST.

Make sure to follow ESPN Rodeo + Bull Riding @ www.twitter.com/espnrodeo for live updates from inside the Thomas & Mack Center.

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Check back with ESPN.com and pbrnow.com all week long for continuing coverage of the 2009 PBR World Finals in Las Vegas.