So, we’re heading out to Santa Anita Park to start shooting some scenes forSecretariat when they call me over to meet this guy. “This is Fighting Furrari,” they say, “He’s your stunt double.”
"Stunt double?!" I say. "Check out that dorky smile. He looks nothing like me. Besides, what sort of name is ‘Fighting Furrari’? I bet he hasn’t even been in any movies. … What? He was Seabiscuit? Who’s that? …. Oh. Well, that was 2003. Has he done anything since then? Ha! I didn’t think so! Neigh way I’m letting some no-talent hack play me playing Secretariat!”
…And then he bit me!
Fun fact: that actually is Fighting Furrari, who actually was the principal Seabiscuit in the 2003 movie, and who actually resides at santaanitapark! You can visit him during the Seabiscuit Tour, offered most Saturday and Sunday mornings; that’s where I snapped the pictures of Fighting Furrari and the Park. (BoJack, on the other hand, is only a selfie subjected to heavy photoshopping; no horse photos used for him!)
Why all the Seabiscuit stuff at Santa Anita? Back in the 1930s, the Santa Anita Handicap had one of the largest purses in all of horse racing: $100,000. And it repeatedly thwarted Seabiscuit’s attempts to win. In 1937, he lost by a nose; in 1938, the same thing happened. Worst of all, shortly before the 1939 race, Seabiscuit sustained what many thought would be a career-ending injury. Nevertheless, by the next year Seabiscuit, although already older than the majority of the horses in the running and carrying the maximum weight, finally achieved victory and surpassed the previous winnings record. A statue of Seabiscuit now graces the racetrack’s Paddock Gardens.
On a more personal note, going to Santa Anita to run in the Derby Day 5K last year (wearing a design based on Seabiscuit’s livery [I’m a dork]) was a one-man pilgrimage. Before I read Laura Hillenbrand’s Seabiscuit: An American Legend, I had had no interest in horses. But as I read I, like those who listened rapt to the radio broadcasts of the Biscuit’s races, found in the short, knobbly-kneed, awkwardly-gaited racehorse a ray of hope amid my depression. Perhaps I could overcome the faults I saw in myself; perhaps I could succeed, thrive, and hopefully inspire others; perhaps I was a good person. I even subconsciously decided to represent myself as a anthropomorphized horse in my art.
I didn’t expect to like BoJack Horseman at all; I don’t even go for rock and roll, let alone sex and drugs. I watched a couple episodes because hey—when else do you see a bipedal talking horse onscreen? One major reason I continued, however, was the wholly unexpected kinship I felt with BoJack because of his uncannily familiar relationship with Secretariat. It’s probably obvious that the season finale was a tearjerker for me. What do you I when I get sad? I keep running.
So here’s to more Hollywoo adventures. #ComeBackBoJack!