By Hilary Gauntt


Del Mar Race Track

Just thought I’d share this “sign” that made our day on Friday, August 1st. Casey and I went to an annual party of Casey’s 20-year clients at the Del Mar racetrack. Casey loves this party because it’s packed with real estate developers, bankers and lawyers from all over the country he has worked with over many years. There is great food but he never eats anything he is so busy talking, and I have to come up with dinner when we go home! Anyway, we are getting ready to leave before the 8th and final race, and neither of us has made one bet all day. So I look at the program determined to make one, and two horses jump out at me—”Jimmy’s Date” and “Justa Splash.” Just A Splash is part of our family folklore. When our daughter Brittany was about 6 she asked me “Why when Daddy asks you if you want more wine and you say Just a Splash does he fill your glass all the way up?” Out of the mouths of babes. Anyway, we use that phrase with a smile all the time and my friends tease me with it.

So I go to the window and I am about to bet $5 to win, place, show on both horses when Casey comes up beside me and insists I bet Jimmy’s Date $20 across the board—win place show—a big bet for me and he who never bets. We leave before the race and later that night I go on the computer to find that Jimmy’s Date won and Justa Splash was second! I went down to the track the next morning—it’s less than a mile from our house and we rarely go— to cash in the ticket at the Early Bird betting window before I lost it, and netted a crisp $100 bill. We have decided that some loving spirit wants us to have some quality wine on August 9th—that date six years ago we lost our beloved son Jimmy.

So who was behind this bit of good fortune and syncronicity? I was thinking Jimmy, but Casey thinks it’s his mother Barb, who loved to bet the ponies. We threw her a fabulous 90th birthday party at the Del Mar race track, maybe her favorite ever. It would also be her last.

A Beautiful Place

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Author Bios

Write Me Something Beautiful Authors - Casey and Jimmy Gauntt

Casey Gauntt

is an attorney and senior executive of a major San Diego real estate company. He lives in Solana Beach, California, with his wife, Hilary. Casey grew up in Itasca, Illinois, graduated Lake Park High School in 1968, and received B.S., JD and MBA degrees from the University of Southern California.

From The Blog

Read the Blog

Jimmy Gauntt

was born and raised in Solana Beach and graduated from Torrey Pines High School in 2002.   A prestigious Trustee Scholar at the University of Southern California, he majored in English and Spanish. He authored six plays, five screenplays, and a multitude of poems and short stories. Beginning in 2010, the USC English Department annually bestows the Jimmy Gauntt Memorial Award—aka “The Jimmy”—to the top graduates in English.  Jimmy passed over to the other side in 2008 at age 24.

Featured Stories

See All The Stories