At the Thoroughbred Daily News, we are very proud of the ‘TDN Rising Star’ designation, which has become an industry standard to identify graded stakes potential very early in a horse’s career. We take this responsibility seriously, analyzing multiple aspects of a winner’s performance, pedigree, prior starts and other factors internally before making a Rising Star decision.
We launched TDN Rising Stars in 1994, when our editorial staff could spend the afternoon reviewing performances before issuing the designation. In recent years, however, the launch of TDN alerts, which satisfy our readers’ desire for immediate information, has meant that the process has taken on a new urgency. Sometimes, however, that urgency isn’t in the best interests of accuracy.
As such, we have decided that no longer will the Rising Star designation absolutely have to be decided by the time the alert goes out. We feel the additional time to make our decision will provide a more accurate assessment. Going forward, some Rising Stars will be named in the alert, while others might be announced that night in the PDF, even if the race has been alerted without the designation.
This change was prompted by our failure to name Sunday’s maiden winner Ladies Day (Bernardini) a Rising Star and the internal discussion that followed. Like all sports today, “upon further review,” may now be heard from time to time in the TDN offices. And, upon further review, we are giving “Rising Star” status to Ladies Day. She earned it.