09/29/2005 12:00AM

Cordero's back in Cotillion

Angel Cordero Jr., 62, who hasn't ridden in a race since 1995, will come out of retirement for one day.

Not since Bill Shoemaker was in the midst of his farewell tour in 1989 has there been so much buzz about a Hall of Fame jockey making a guest appearance at Philadelphia Park.

Angel Cordero Jr., who has 7,057 victories in his career, will ride unbeaten Indian Vale for trainer Todd Pletcher in Saturday's Grade 2, $300,000 Cotillion Handicap, a 1 1/16-mile stakes for 3-year-old fillies.

Cordero, 62, exercises horses in the morning for Pletcher but retired from riding in 1992 following a near-fatal spill. He made a brief comeback in 1995, going 0 for 6 in New York.

Cordero agreed to ride because regular rider John Velazquez, a jockey Cordero represents in his second career as an agent, will be riding at Belmont Park Saturday.

Pletcher won last year's running of the Cotillion with Ashado.

Shoemaker was 58 - two weeks shy of his 59th birthday - when he sent a large crowd at Philly Park home happy 16 years ago by bringing 4-5 favorite Drone's Dash from 25 lengths behind to win with his final mount on the card.

Cordero, who has said he's coming out of retirement just for one day, could provide a similar thrill with Indian Vale in her stakes debut.

Unraced until July, Indian Vale easily won her maiden at Monmouth and cruised through two allowance conditions by winning a pair of 1 1/8-mile races at Saratoga by a combined 23 3/4 lengths. Her 108 Beyer Speed Figure last time out is the best in the Cotillion field.

The toughest competition for Indian Vale should come from Yolanda B. Too and Shebelongstoyou.

, based in New York with trainer Richard Violette, most recently finished third after stumbling at the start of the Grade 1 Gazelle.

raced well at Monmouth during the summer, finishing second in the Grade 3 Monmouth Oaks and winning a minor stakes by nearly 15 lengths three weeks ago.

Amazing Buy, wire-to-wire winner of the Pennsylvania Oaks on Labor Day, is likely to contest the early pace with Indian Vale.

The X-factor is Nothing But Fun, unbeaten in three starts, all in New York, but yet to race beyond seven furlongs. She exits a minor stakes at Saratoga in which the third- and fourth-place finishers returned to win stakes.

Santana Strings favored in Gallant Bob

Santana Strings, winner of the Grade 2 Amsterdam at Saratoga two races ago, heads a group of 3-year-old sprinters in the $100,000 Gallant Bob Handicap.

Although there are 11 horses in the field for the six-furlong Gallant Bob, five are cross-entered in the $60,000 Sonny Hine at Laurel Park.

Santana Strings, trained by Steve Asmussen, has been first or second in six starts at six furlongs, but has faltered when asked to run any farther than that, as evidenced by his sixth-place finish in the seven-furlong, Grade 1 King's Bishop last time out.

The field includes Yes Yes Yes, a Todd Pletcher-trained colt who was announced as Cordero's second prospective mount two weeks ago. Although no rider was named at entry time, Pletcher said that on the request of owner Team Valor, he has given the mount on Yes Yes Yes to Richard Migliore. Yes Yes Yes was an easy winner of a first-level allowance at Saratoga last time out.

According to the Philly Park racing office, Cordero is attempting to pick up another mount for the race, but as of early Thursday afternoon he had not done so.

Cordero said he intends to sign autographs for one hour at the track and donate 25 percent of his earnings to victims of Hurricane Katrina.

The field

Cotillion Handicap
Purse: $300,000; 1 1/16 miles; Grade 2

1Toll TakerA. Gryder11812-1
2Nothing But FunR. Migliore1159-2
3ShebelongstoyouS. Elliott1175-2
4Yolanda B. TooB. Peck1179-2
5Indian ValeA. Cordero Jr.1148-5
6I'mtoogoodtobetrueNo Rider11512-1
7Amazing BuyH. Vega1208-1

* Track morning line odds