10/25/2003 12:00AM

High Chaparral, Johar inseparable at wire

Johar (left) rallies strongly to draw even with High Chaparral and create the first dead heat in BC history.

ARCADIA, Calif. - The milestones arrived in bunches when High Chaparral and Johar finished in a dead heat in Saturday's $2.12 million at Santa Anita.

The result was the first dead heat for a win in the 20-year history of the Breeders' Cup; High Chaparral became the first horse to win two runnings of the Turf; and it was trainer Richard Mandella's third victory on a day when he set a record by scoring four Breeders' Cup wins. D. Wayne Lukas held the previous record with three wins in 1988.

Mandella also won the Juvenile Fillies with Halfbridled, the Juvenile with Action This Day, and the Classic with Pleasantly Perfect.

It took racing officials 11 minutes to sort out the photo finish. High Chaparral ($6.40) and Johar ($13.60) finished 1 1/2 miles in 2:24.24. Falbrav, widely considered the top European challenger, finished third, a head behind the winners. Storming Home, the 2-1 favorite, finished sixth in the field of eight.

High Chaparral was always close to the pace of 25.12 and 48.73 seconds set by Balto Star. He stalked the leaders in fifth place for the first half-mile and in third on the backstretch. Johar was at the back of the field for the first mile.

Balto Star continued on the front until the final turn when he quickly faded from contention as The Tin Man and Falbrav challenged. In early stretch, those two were joined by High Chaparral and Johar. The Tin Man faded in the final furlong, but the other three fought to the finish. High Chaparral had the lead in the final strides, but Johar made up ground to finish in a tie.

Falbrav finished 5 1/2 lengths in front of The Tin Man, who was followed by Sulamani, Bright Sky, Storming Home, Toccet, and Balto Star. Storming Home was closest at the quarter pole while in fourth place, but quickly faded.

"It looked like he was traveling well and he flattened out the last part," trainer Neil Drysdale said.

Falbrav may have reached the front too soon, trainer Luca Cumani said, noting that the distance of 1 1/2 miles may not have helped a horse who excelled at 1 1/4 miles this year.

"He didn't go to the front, the front-runners came back to him," Cumani said. "The stretch run was fantastic but it was a bit too far for him. A mile and a half is too far. To run a distance that's not his distance, I'm very proud of him. It was an incredibly good race."

Johar races for The Thoroughbred Corporation and was ridden by Alex Solis. A 4-year-old, Johar has won 6 of 15 starts and $1,494,496.

"Richard [Mandella] did a heck of a job," said Richard Mulhall, the racing manager of The Thoroughbred Corp. "He trained him just for this race. He got him up to the race perfectly."

High Chaparral has won 10 of 13 starts and $5,331,231 for Michael Tabor and Susan Magnier. The dead heat was a relief to Tabor.

"We thought we'd won, and when we looked at it again I wasn't so sure," Tabor said.