Retired racecaller Dave Johnson has filed a lawsuit against the makers of the 2014 film, St. Vincent, due to the use of his signature phrase “and down the stretch they come,” uttered by the film's star, Bill Murray.
According to Reuters, Johnson's suit names distributor Weinstein Co., Chernin Entertainment and Crescendo Productions among others. Murray is not named as a defendant but it was his character, Vincent MacKenna, who used the phrase during a horse racing scene “in a clear attempt to imitate” Johnson, the suit says.
“I've spent my whole life calling races, and that's something I wanted to protect,” Johnson told Reuters. “It's obviously mine. That's my phrase.”
Johnson said he would donate any damages from the lawsuit to horse racing charities, including the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund. Johnson said he didn't know about the movie scene until a next-door neighbor recently told him about it.
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