10/29/2003 12:00AM

Light schedule has Johar energized


ARCADIA, Calif. - Johar, the dead-heat winner with High Chaparral of Saturday's $2 million Breeders' Cup Turf at Santa Anita, will return in the $3.9 million Japan Cup at Tokyo Racecourse on Nov. 30.

Trainer Richard Mandella said he made the decision after he watched Johar train in the days following the Turf, which had the first dead heat in the 20-year history of the Breeders' Cup.

"He acts like he's never ran and the race is a little more than a month away," Mandella said. "I'm going."

In addition to being eligible for the first-place prize of approximately $2.08 million, Johar would also be eligible for a $1.08 million bonus - sponsored by the Japan Racing Association - that goes to a horse that wins the Breeders' Cup Turf and the Japan Cup.

Johar rallied from last in Saturday's Turf to dead heat with High Chaparral. The BC Turf was Johar's third start since early August. He was given a break of seven months earlier this year after suffering a shoulder injury last winter. Mandella said Johar's light schedule makes a trip to Japan feasible.

"It's not like I've overtrained him," Mandella said.

Owned by The Thoroughbred Corp., Johar has won 6 of 15 starts and $1,494,496.

The Turf was Johar's first start over 1 1/2 miles, the same distance as the Japan Cup.

Mandella finished second in the 1993 Japan Cup with Kotashaan, the Horse of the Year that season. Kotashaan won the 1993 Breeders' Cup Turf and was in contention in the Japan Cup when jockey Kent Desormeaux misjudged the finish. Kotashaan finished second, missing by 1 1/4 lengths to the Japan-based Legacy World.

"I don't harp on that," Mandella said. "It's a race I'd like to say I won someday."

The last American-based winner of the Japan Cup was Golden Pheasant in 1991. Last year, Sarafan, who is trained in California by Neil Drysdale, finished second by a nose to Falbrav.

Adoration pointed to Bayakoa

Adoration, who pulled the biggest shock of Breeders' Cup Day with a win at 40-1 in the $2 million Distaff, is being pointed for the $150,000 Bayakoa Handicap at Hollywood Park on Dec. 7, trainer David Hofmans said.

Wednesday, Hofmans said Adoration emerged from the race in excellent condition.

"I'd like to give her a week off, but I can't," Hofmans said. "She is so fresh."

Hofmans said stakes at Aqueduct and Churchill Downs are being considered, but the Bayakoa is the most likely option.

In the Distaff, Adoration was making her third start following an eight-month break.

Hofmans does not expect Adoration to win the Eclipse Award as outstanding older filly or mare. He predicts the award will go to defending champion Azeri because of disappointing performances in the Distaff by Got Koko, who finished third, and Sightseek, who finished fourth.

Azeri won the 2002 Distaff but did not defend her title because of a tendon injury.

"I think they had to take it away from Azeri and they couldn't do it," Hofmans said. "I think Got Koko getting beat ruined her chances."

Runaway Dancer goes Hollywood

Runaway Dancer, the upset winner of the $139,250 Carleton Burke Handicap last Friday, will be pointed for the $250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup on Nov. 22, trainer Dan Hendricks said.

Hendricks had considered waiting for the Santa Anita winter-spring meeting before starting Runaway Dancer, but changed his mind when he learned that nominations for the Turf Cup had not closed. The Turf Cup is run over 1 1/2 miles.

"He hasn't been over-raced and it seems like good timing," Hendricks said. "He likes a mile and a half and we'll give it a go."

In the Carleton Burke, Runaway Dancer ($78.20) rallied from last in a field of nine to win by a neck over Labirinto, a stakes winner in Sweden. Senor Swinger, the 3-1 favorite, missed by a half-length.

Runaway Dancer races for Pat Dudley of San Francisco. A gelding, Runaway Dancer won two optional claimers at Del Mar over 1 3/8 miles on turf. He was sixth in the Grade 3 Bay Meadows Breeders' Cup Handicap over 1 1/8 miles on turf at Bay Meadows on Sept. 27. Hendricks said the Bay Meadows distance was too short.

"I don't think you'll see him run less than a mile and a quarter," Hendricks said. "He's about halfway to his potential. Our big question is how far will he go."

Atswhatimtalknbout's comeback on hold

Atswhatimtalknbout, who finished fourth in the Kentucky Derby in his last start, has suffered a foot injury that may postpone his comeback, trainer Ron Ellis said on Wednesday.

Ellis said the San Fernando Stakes over 1 1/16 miles in January is "doubtful." The race is the second leg of the three-race Strub series, which starts with the seven-furlong Malibu Stakes on Dec. 26 and concludes with the Strub Stakes over 1 1/8 miles in early February.

"We've had some foot problems," Ellis said. "He had an abscess and some dead foot. The new foot is just coming to the surface and it's sensitive. It won't be a problem a month from now, but it's set him back."

Last spring, Atswhatimtalknbout finished second in the San Felipe Stakes and fourth in the Santa Anita Derby. He finished two lengths behind Funny Cide in the Kentucky Derby.

Rhiana up for sale at Keeneland

Rhiana, who has placed in four stakes this year, will be sold at Keeneland next Thursday but will be entered for Saturday's $200,000 Churchill Downs Distaff over a mile on Nov. 8.

Rhiana, a 6-year old, has won 3 of 25 starts and $274,662. She finished second in the Hawthorne Handicap in April and third in the Grade 1 Santa Maria Handicap last February.

Wednesday, Rhiana worked a half-mile in 47.80 seconds.