Frank L. Gaunt, one of the most successful owners in Emerald Downs history, died Saturday of cancer. Mr. Gaunt was 81 years old.
A resident of Eatonville in south Pierce County, Gaunt achieved a dream last November when his 3-year-old filly Stormy Lucy competed in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Santa Anita. Although she finished 11th, Gaunt was able to see his blue and yellow silks perform on the world’s biggest stage. Earlier in the year, Stormy Lucy earned black-type with a runner-up finish in the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks and thirds in the Grade 1 Rodeo Drive and Grade 2 Honeymoon Handicap.
At Emerald Downs, Gaunt is No. 8 all-time with 101 wins and enjoyed stakes successes with Random Memo and Charming Colleen. A daughter of Charismatic, Charming Colleen won the 2004 Angie C Stakes and finished second against colts in the Gottstein Futurity, and then was sold privately to James McIngvale.
The late Aubrey Villyard, Doris Harwood, Dennis and Monique Snowden, and Frank Lucarelli trained horses for Gaunt at Emerald Downs. Lucarelli, who currently trains 10 of the Gaunt runners including Stormy Lucy and the promising 3-year-old Washington-bred Cruzin the Harbor, said he would meet with Gaunt’s widow, Erica, to discuss plans for the horses.
An engineer, Gaunt founded the Accu-Lube Corporation in 1981. He retired in 1990, and bought a 60-acre farm in Eatonville, where he devoted more time to his life-long interest in horses. He purchased his first racehorse in 1980 at the suggestion of his accountant, who happened to be the father of Karen Taylor of Seattle Slew fame.
Funeral services are 1 p.m., Saturday, January 5, at Powers Funeral Home, 320 West Pioneer, Puyallup.