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This article is about the racehorse. You may be looking for the film starring BoJack Horseman.
BoJack, when I was your age, I got sad. A lot. I didn't come from such a great home, but one day, I started running, and that seemed to make sense, so then I just kept running. BoJack, when you get sad, you run straight ahead and you keep running forward, no matter what. There are people in your life who are gonna try to hold you back, slow you down, but you don't let them. Don't you stop running and don't you ever look behind you. There's nothing for you behind you. All that exists is what's ahead.

—Secretariat to a young BoJack, Later

Secretariat was a famous racehorse and the childhood hero of BoJack Horseman. He won the Triple Crown in 1973 and then months later committed suicide after being banned from competition for illegal betting, and learning of the death of his brother.

The Real Secretariat[]

Secretariat (March 30, 1970–October 4, 1989) was an American Thoroughbred racehorse that, in 1973, became the first U.S. Triple Crown winner in twenty-five years. 

He set race records forty-seven years ago in all three events in the series – the Kentucky Derby (1:5925), the Preakness Stakes (1:53), and the Belmont Stakes (2:24) – records that still stand today.

Physical Appearance[]

Secretariat was an adult male American Thoroughbred racehorse. He was a chestnut stallion with a longer mane. His nose and mouth are grey and he has a white blaze on his snout that stops at the top of his nose.

His racing uniform consists of a blue tank top with white trim and a white "3" on the front, lighter blue shorts with white trim, and blue and yellow sneakers.

While on the Dick Cavett Show and talking to Nixon he wears a tan suit which consists of a button-down suit and dress pants with a lime green shirt, and a dark yellow tie with light yellow polka-dots, and brown loafers.

When he commits suicide, he has stubble on his mouth, and he wears a yellow long-sleeved collared shirt, green pants, and he appears to be barefoot. His hair his also more disheveled and he has bags under his eyes.


Secretariat appeared to the public as a charming and admirable athlete and public figure. However, in private there was a darkness to him, brought on by being corrupted by fame.

He appeared to be depressed and was close to his brother Jeffretariat, although to avoid having his reputation tarnished by being drafted to Vietnam, he made a deal with President Nixon to send Jeffretariat instead, who ended up dying. The guilt made Secretariat realize he was broken and couldn't be fixed, and this plus being banned from racing, the only thing he had left, for illegally betting on his own races led him to kill himself.



Secretariat was born in 1946. Like BoJack, he grew up in a troubled home and went through depression. However, he started running, which made him feel better; so he just kept running.

On May 19 of an unknown year, Secretariat loses his first race, and he thinks to himself in the locker room about how he might lose his scholarship. The same day, he learns that his father has died, and was sent to the glue factory.

Sometime after this, however, he does become a famous racehorse.

In 1972, Secretariat meets with President Richard Nixon. Nixon is threatening to send Secretariat to fight in the Vietnam War. He pleads with Nixon not to be sent. In return for not going to Vietnam, Secretariat makes a deal with Nixon to send his brother, Jeffretariat instead.

Later, Secretariat can be seen in a news interview using his celebrity status, to promote the Vietnam War and Richard Nixon.

A year later, in 1973, Secretariat wins the Triple Crown and books an appearance on The Dick Cavett Show in July. There, he denies recent allegations, that he bet money on his own races. He also addresses a fan letter from a young BoJack Horseman, who was nine years old at the time.

The letter reads that BoJack is a big fan of Secretariat, and he wants to be like him and looks up to him. It also says that he gets sad sometimes, and he asks Secretariat what he should do when he gets sad. Secretariat replies that he was the same at his age, so he started running and it made him feel better.

He tells him to just keep running, to never look back, and not let anyone get in his way because all that exists is what's ahead. Unfortunately, while BoJack watches Secretariat’s response, his parents start having a loud argument in the other room. BoJack moved closer to the TV so all he was able to hear was his idol telling him to not stop running.

One month later, on August 22, 1973, it is announced Secretariat is banned for life from competition for betting on his own races. At some point around this time, he also finds out that his brother, Jeffretariat, who took his place to fight in the Vietnam War, had perished in battle.

Secretariat parks his car on the George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge in Louisville, climbs up onto the railing and jumps, killing himself. He was twenty-seven years old.

The Secretariat Movie[]

In 2015, a film about Secretariat was released. It starred BoJack Horseman as Secretariat. For information about the film, its production, and reception, see Secretariat.


  • The real-life racehorse, Secretariat, lived until 1989 when he was euthanized after becoming afflicted with an incurable hoof condition. In the universe of the show, he died in 1973, at the age of twenty-seven, when really he was three years old at the time.
  • Margo Martindale, who plays Character Actress Margo Martindale, has a role in the real-life 2010 live-action Disney film Secretariat.
  • Diane Nguyen wrote Secretariat's biography.
  • At the dinner scene in The View from Halfway Down, most of the characters are given meals that represent the respective circumstances of their deaths. Secretariat/Butterscotch is served eggs with coffee and bourbon - the former represents Secretariat’s life as an athlete, as eggs are high in protein and would be considered a healthy breakfast beneficial for an athlete.

Image Gallery[]