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    Secretariat 
Played by: BoJack Horseman

A famous horse racer from The '70s, Secretariat's life and exploits are known far and wide for the tragedy surrounding his very existence. Born in squalor to rather lackluster parents, Secretariat always strove for the grand, becoming a major candidate for a scholarship that would propel him into achieving his dream: being the best in horse racing.

For the tropes related to the real Secretariat, see Bojack Horseman - Historical Characters.


  • Adaptational Badass: While Secretariat was (and is still remembered) as one of the grand racers in the sport, his later life was stumped by increased legal problems, addictions, mental issues and family trouble which lead to his termination in disgrace. Furthermore, while he was characterized by media as a patriot, he was never involved in any particularly important race against the Russians. This Secretariat, due to eliminating internal turmoil from the equation, not only doesn't run out of steam at any point in his life, he's still particularly in his prime when he enters a race against the still-URSS strong Russian competitors.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Probably the biggest departure from the source. Secretariat was far from a bad guy himself, being a good chap that would be humble enough to make public appearances in talk shows, had a pretty biting wit and was nothing but accommodating to his fans, even agreeing to do a Q&A on-air in The Dick Cavett Show of letters. But that was only one of his sides, by other accounts, he was a rather shady persona himself: there were rumors about his excesses in everything including addiction to all types of drugs and Conspicuous Consumption of all kinds of extravagances. He was also very difficult to work with, in no small part due to his changing moods and frequent bouts of depression; his fame was so important to him that there's a very well-documented infamous deal that involved reaching to Richard Nixon himself and discussing an exchange in which Jeffretariat, Secretariat's brother, would be send in his place for drafting while he would become Nixon's Propaganda Machine; not to say about betting in his own races, ultimately leading to banning from any competition. In the film, Secretariat is portrayed as a rather amiable guy who has no mean bone sin his body, treats everyone respectfully, often offers to teach Latin wannabe-gangbangers to give them a better future and is basically a Commie-bashin' patriotic bloody-national hero with no hangups.
  • Adaptational Personality Change: From a Real Life Tragic Hero with brooding qualities who ended up his life in misery to an eternally optimistic, inspirational-cliche spouting, invincible hero who ends up his life with no regrets.
  • Alternate History: Where do we begin?
    • As detailed above in Adaptational Badass, Adaptational Heroism and Adaptational Personality Change, everything about Secretariat's life, moral ambiguity and moody personality is gone, making this Secretariat In Name Only. The real Secretariat was only momentarily Nice to the Waiter, was an emotional mess and later in life, lost his ability to keep away from debts or gambling compulsion.
    • Secretariat never married or had any children, dying in his late twenties.
    • In Real Life, Secretariat committed suicide by jumping off the John F. Kennedy memorial bridge in 1973, rather than going in for a swim there with his girlfriend Sue Side.
    • Secretariat never taught in any school or entered any international competition where he would go face-to-face against Soviet participants.
  • Anti-Hero: Initially. During the early stages of production, Secretariat was played to a hilt with no sin-washing or deflecting from his flaws, instead concentrating in his inner conflicts and his often overlooked deep flaws, making him a more rounded human individual.
  • Babies Ever After: With his fiancee (later wife) Sue Side. The last shot of the movie is Secretariat holding their baby while giving one last "World of Cardboard" Speech.
  • Bleached Underpants: After the direction of the biopic switches from Kelsey Jannings to Abe D'Catfish, Secretariat switches from a realistic three-dimensional guy with serious flaws into a one-dimensional "escapist protagonist" the audience is supposed to admire all the way through without even questioning their sympathies.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: With Sue Side. It's even spelled out in their garments; Sue is always in Pimped Out Dresses and seems to live by the Rule of Glamorous while simultaneously being a Naïve Everygirl whose status as a debutante makes her far more optimistic about the future, while Secretariat is constantly depressed, strung-out, wears the exact same sporting clothes and is far from a happy person.
  • Broken Hero: Played straight, in contrast to his real life counterpart's Deconstruction of the ideal. Secretariat was born in the Wrong Side of the Tracks, had a difficult upbringing and a turbulent journey to the top of the game, but eventually sorted his life out, got married and dedicated his life to give spirit and inspiration to other people in order to achieve their dreams.
  • Clothes Make the Superman: In the footage shown, he never once races. His Iconic Outfit appears in every frame, however, and he wears it at all times to the point where considering he's got some Limited Wardrobe might not be a stretch of a statement. Apparently, the logic behind this is clothes = the person in question.
  • Cool Teacher: Towards his students in low-sources schools. He often gives them pep talks, encourages them to be better people and exploit their talents.
  • Draft Dodging: Averted. Being the upstanding citizen he always was, Secretariat never considering asking President Nixon this as a personal favor–-according to this movie's account.
  • Happily Married: With Sue Side, eventually.
  • Historical Badass Upgrade: Apparently, Secretariat overcame his depression issues and became a grand paragon beyond any suspension of disbelief and was one of the top dogs charged with defeating Russkies at sports during the Cold War conflict.
  • Historical Hero Upgrade: This should go without saying at this point, but Secretariat was never involved in an important event surrounding the US-URSS race conflict.
  • Ideal Hero: Eventually. As the film progressed (and the Troubled Production got running again), Secretariat was portrayed more and more as an incorruptible force of good whose will and actions (being a Humble Hero to everyone, settling down with a sweet natured, tender woman, having children, inspiring other people to improve themselves, being a substitute teacher for downtown schools and low-income students) shed a lot of his conflicts, flaws and suicide to create a hero everyone would like to be and audiences would likely project themselves into.
  • Jerkass: In the original footage, he would often act like this during his lowest moments, especially after the race against "Big Hearted" Sham and when he threatens to "do the same" to his coach after he accuses him of busting the opposing pinto's leg.
  • Lighter and Softer: Jarringly so. Unused footage of the early shootings show a more faithful adaptation of Secretariat's life, especially the controversial kneecapping that surrounded one of his races and his less savory traits such as depression and standoffishness toward people in his life. Secretariat in the final product is shown to be a romanticized interpretation, with a grand openness to life, capability of falling in love and ending up married to a debutante with a child. Needless to say, if you're versed in history, this movie won't be taken as actual events.
  • Love Redeems: Bonding, falling in love and marrying Sue Side turns out to be the thing Secretariat needs to put his life back on track.

     Secretariat's coach 

     Susie Side 

     Wayward Students 
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     Adopted Kids 


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