A head-to-head battle between longshot John Alden and third-choice Tiny Monk ended in a dead heat in yesterday's $25,000 Fort McHenry Handicap at Pimlico.

It required 10 minutes of careful study of the dried film prints by the judges to verify that the race had finished in a tie. Chati, the public choice at 2 to 1, was third, a length behind the winners.

Tiny Monk was rushed to the lead by jockey Bill Passmore, followed by Aborigine and John Alden. At the head of the stretch it appeared that Tiny Monk would be engulfed as the field closed in for the serious running. But Passmore let out a notch and was soon joined by John Alden and jockey Tom Kupser for the stretch run.

The pair ran the 11/16 miles in 1:42 2/5 over a "good" track, the fastest of the current meeting. Tiny Monk paid $5 while John Alden returned $13.80. The exacta of Tiny Monk over John Alden paid $49 and the latter over Tiny Monk paid $79.

Tiny Monk's owner, Helen G. Wallace, said, "The little fellow is getting old but he still keeps trying hard."

Kupfer said of John Alden, "I got bumped around at the eighth pole and it might have made the difference."

The crowd was 12,454 and the betting handle $1,345,831.