Fine wine gets better with age and so does Vinewood Farms. Run by brothers George and Louis Lucas and George's son, Michael, the racing operation appears to be hitting full stride at Los Alamitos courtesy of a solid band of horses. Their stable includes stakes-caliber horses Corona Cerveza, Call Me Corona and Corona Clique. The big star in their stable right now is Mimi Cartel, a beautiful looking filly that finished fourth in the Ed Burke Memorial Futurity. By the way, all four of those horses were sired by Corona Cartel. I love Corona Cartel, George said.
      The Lucases have been around horses their entire lives, beginning with countless summer days loping and riding horses as children. As the brothers entered adulthood, they began to raise Angus cattle and sheep before their interests floated to horse racing. In 1964, the brothers formed a partnership with Thornton Colby to campaign Diamond Bar Maid. A decade later, Vinewood Farms hit the big time, winning the inaugural running of the La Primera Del Ano Derby with the Reed Hadley-trained Jeanifer Jett in 1978. The La Primera featured a $175,000 purse that year, easily making it one of the richest races for 3-year-old fillies in the nation.
      All wins are special but of course winning a stakes races is really nice, George Lucas said. This is a challenging business because you always have to look ahead. We've spent a lot of time and effort updating our broodmares each year hoping that they'll eventually produce faster babies. We look at breeding operations run by Ed Allred and Spencer Childers and see them as role models.
     At home in Santa Maria, the brothers harvest grapes and operate a winery. George is in charge of growing table grapes for general sale while Louis runs the winery side of Vinewood Farms. 
     The farm is a family operation, George added. Maybe that's why we like racing so much. The people involved are like a big family. And at Los Alamitos we have a lot of friends that we enjoy seeing.