11/03/2005 1:00AM

Indian Vale yet to fulfill star potential


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Todd Pletcher said good-bye to his champion mare Ashado early Thursday morning and a few hours later bristled at the suggestion that anyone could fill her shoes.

In her first three starts, however, Indian Vale looked like a star in the making, especially at Saratoga, where she won a pair of allowance races by double-digit lengths. Indian Vale bombed in her stakes debut, however, finishing fifth as the 2-5 favorite in the Grade 2 Cotillion Handicap at Philadelphia Park.

Saturday, gets another chance to win a stakes when she heads a field of seven entered in the Grade 3 Turnback the Alarm Handicap at Aqueduct. The $100,000 Turnback the Alarm shares billing with the Grade 2, $150,000 Long Island Handicap at 1 1/2 miles on turf on Aqueduct's 10-race card.

Indian Vale, a daughter of A.P. Indy and Marley Vale, went gate to wire in a pair of allowance wins at Saratoga. In the second of those wins, Indian Vale earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 108, higher than any number Ashado earned during her brilliant career in which she won 11 graded stakes and banked more than $3.9 million.

"She has shown signs of being a stakes filly in the making," Pletcher said of Indian Vale, owned by Eugene Melnyk. "When she won that second allowance race at Saratoga the figure suggested she could be a top-class filly. She has still got to prove against stakes-caliber horses she could do that."

In the Cotillion, in which Angel Cordero Jr. came out of retirement to ride, Indian Vale didn't handle the track and finished fifth.

"According to Angel, he said he knew he was in trouble going into the first turn, she was just kind of slipping and sliding, not getting a hold of the track," Pletcher said.

John Velazquez will be back aboard Indian Vale and will likely try to use her speed from post 7. Indian Vale gets in with 112 pounds.

, the 121-pound starting highweight, won this race last year, but has lost her last seven starts. In her most recent start, Personal Legend finished fifth in the Grade 1 Beldame, but trainer Bobby Frankel said he felt she was too close to a slow early pace.

"I think she's better around two turns anyway," Frankel said.

Edgar Prado rides Personal Legend from post 3.

, who overcame a disastrous start to win the off-the-turf Athenia Handicap, tries the dirt again. Shebelongstoyou, a stakes winner at Monmouth, could be a pace factor under Joe Bravo.