In many ways, Gozzip Girl's ascent this season has mirrored the meteoric rise of her owners.
Like their star filly, the father-son team of Robert and Myron Miller have achieved enviable success after a relatively brief time in the game.
And, as has been the case with Gozzip Girl, the Millers have been dealt some frightening bobbles along the way.
Already regarded as one of the top 3-year-old turf fillies in the nation, Gozzip Girl will attempt to add to a memorable year when she starts as the favorite in Saturday's Grade I Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup over 11⁄8 miles on the Keeneland turf.
For years, the Farnsworth Farm name was one of the most renowned in racing, breeding such champions as Beautiful Pleasure and Jewel Princess under former owner Michael Sherman.
Since the Millers purchased Farnsworth three years ago, the Ocala, Fla.-based operation is again becoming a major player — thanks in no small part to Gozzip Girl.
After racing just twice as a juvenile, Gozzip Girl has gone on to win four of seven starts this season, highlighted by a dominating 31/4-length victory in the Grade I American Oaks Invitational at Hollywood Park on July 5.
Purchased for $60,000 from breeder Stonestreet Thoroughbreds at the 2007 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, Gozzip Girl is on the verge of millionaire status with $797,194 in career earnings.
"(Trainer) Tom Albertrani always thought she was a real special horse, but we've been pleasantly surprised with just how good she has turned out," said Myron Miller, who along with his father also formed a joint venture with the Kentucky Equine Sports Medicine and Rehab Center to build a facility in Florida. "Our agent, Kim Valerio, picked her out, and when she sent her to Farnsworth, she told us, 'You're really going to love this one.'
"She's getting better and better, and Tom said this past week has been the best she's ever trained."
But what could have been another standout moment for Gozzip Girl nearly became a disaster. As the odds-on favorite in the Grade I Garden City Stakes at Belmont on Sept. 12, Gozzip Girl was forced to steady around the first turn and almost went down when she clipped heels, nearly unseating jockey Kent Desormeaux.
The filly managed to regain her feet, but the early trouble had been too much and she finished fourth behind winner and fellow QEII challenger Miss World.
"When the announcer said she almost went down, we were freaking out a little bit so we were just happy she made it around the track OK and had a chance to run again," Myron Miller said.
Considering the Millers had watched their mare Flibberjibit suffer a fatal breakdown in the Grade III Ouija Board Distaff at Lone Star Park last May, the image of Gozzip Girl inches from hitting the turf struck a particularly emotional chord.
"You know, we've had some really good luck and some really bad luck," said Miller, who also lost Grade III winner Mending Fences to a compound fracture suffered in the 2007 Grade II Dixie Stakes. "But in the short amount of time we've been doing this, we've gotten to go to some pretty big races and have a lot of fun."
Remarkably, the incident in the Garden City appeared not to take much out of Gozzip Girl, and with the QEII three weeks out from the Breeders' Cup, a trip to Santa Anita for the Filly and Mare Turf could be on the slate.
"That's the plan," Miller said of the Breeders' Cup. "She is such a smart filly and she can make more than one move in a race so we feel confident in her."