Ten horses lined up at the start, and when the gates opened, Kennedy Road took the lead, moving out with Royal Owl as Cougar lay back in sixth. Along the backstretch Crusading made a mild but futile bid and soon retired. Cougar began his move under Jockey Laffit Pin-cay half a mile from home and he moved magnificently. He passed the weary Royal Owl and took aim at Kennedy Road, who had been setting a stern pace, running the mile in 1:35. Cougar gained-., gradually, foot by foot. At the 16th pole Pincay, on the outside, was riding knee to knee with Don Pierce. The two straining horses bumped (the contact was not sufficiently serious to cause a disqualification) and drove on to the wire. The horses' heads were bobbing unevenly and, as they crossed the line, Cougar's dropped down in front by a nose. At that split second Kennedy Road's head was on the upswing. It was four lengths back to the third-place finisher, the 118-to-1 shot, Cabin. Crusading was sixth.
Neither Cougar's owner, Mary Jones, nor Mrs. A. W. Stollery, who races Kennedy Road, was sure who had won. And when that was decided and the placings posted, they still had to endure the long stewards' inquiry. Whittingham watched coolly as his two owners tensely awaited the outcome. "Either way," he said, "I can't lose."