LAUREL -- Seven Lords, in the running for a national championship in number of winners for the year, moved closer to the leader yesterday with a three-quarter-length triumph at Laurel Race Course.
The gelding, 5, recorded his 14th victory of 1990, in a race for horses entered to be claimed for $35,000 down to $30,000. He is one winner behind Jilsie's Gigalo, campaigning at Thistledown, near Cleveland.
Jilsie's Gigalo has been racing in cheaper company than Seven Lords and has benefited from being placed in some easy spots at tracks around the country.
Seven Lords stuck to New Jersey the last half of the year. "We'll catch up to him [Jilsie's Gigalo] here next week," said Richard Koch, owner of Seven Lords. "We've got a race picked out, and he [Seven Lords] will win."
Seven Lords was handled for the first time by Mike Luzzi, who replaced C.C. Yang, the horse's regular rider in New Jersey.
"We bought this horse privately on July 6," trainer Rene Araya said. "This is the eighth race we've won with him, and he's made more than $70,000 since we got him. We bought him from Eddie Plesa in Florida."
Araya, a former jockey who worked in Maryland for several years as a jockey agent, raced Seven Lords at Monmouth Park and the Meadowlands.
"He's eligible for $8,000 starter races," Araya said, referring to events limited to horses that have started for a claiming tag of $8,000 or less.
Seven Lords had only two career victories starting the year.
A Maryland-based gelding, Bolting Holme, had been among the leaders in number of winners, but has lost three of his past four starts. He is entered in the sixth race at Laurel today.
* Dr. William Murphey, 75, a veterinarian representing the Maryland Racing Commission for more than 20 years, was buried in Salisbury yesterday. He died Tuesday, after undergoing surgery two weeks earlier for a pulmonary condition.
Murphey began working at state thoroughbred tracks in the late 1960s, then switched to the harness tracks.
* Edgar Prado is scheduled to replace Luzzi on Colonel Hill when the colt runs again.
After winning his debut in the seven-furlong Devil's Bag Stakes, Colonel Hill lost to Haymaker by 7 3/4 lengths as a 7-10 favorite in the 1 1/16-mile Maryland Juvenile Championship.
Trainer Howard Wolfendale said he is undecided about Colonel Hill's next start.