08/08/2005 11:00PM

Network has Broome dreaming big

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Bill Denver/ EQUI-PHOTOS
Network, Javier Castellano riding, wins the Lamplighter. Possibly up next is the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby.

OCEANPORT, N.J. - Network has owner-trainer Eddie Broome thinking he might be ready for the Pennsylvania Derby.

The Grade 2, $750,000 Pennsylvania Derby on Labor Day at Philadelphia Park is under consideration after Network won the $100,000 Lamplighter for 3-year-olds on the turf Sunday on Monmouth Park's Haskell Day undercard. It was his second straight stakes win.

"I might just take a shot at a graded stakes," Broome said. "I am a homeboy and I wish all the races were here at Monmouth, but I am going to take a look at the Pennsylvania Derby."

Broome can dream big because Network has opened a range of options since being claimed by Broome from Bill Mott out of a maiden race for $62,500 at Gulfstream Park in January.

After two poor efforts after the claim, Network was gelded.

The results were immediate and dramatic. Network has won 5 of 6 starts since then.

Network has won on turf and dirt for Broome, who said the gelding came out of the Lamplighter "very good."

He wasn't even tired," Broome said. "He was bouncing around back here."

The Lamplighter was a solid effort in a field that included Jersey winner Touched by Madness. Network overcame a bobble on the backstretch before launching a powerful rally under Javier Castellano.

"He's a big, good-looking horse that just keeps showing up," Broome said.

Areek may try graded stakes

Areek could also be ready to move up following her second straight Monmouth stakes win, in Sunday's $100,000 Regret for filly and mare sprinters.

Her first stakes win was an easy score in the three-horse Red Cross in the slop at Monmouth on July 17.

The Regret was a far more impressive effort as Areek outfinished Grade 1 stakes winner My Trusty Cat by a head.

"She's come a long way since the first of the year," said Rob Rader, who trains the Mark Hennig Monmouth division.

Areek, a 4-year-old by Deputy Minister, won 2 of 9 starts last year and has won 5 of 6 this year.

"We weren't sure where we were going with her last summer," Rader said. "We're not sure what happened, but this year she's done very well."

The stable hasn't selected a next race for Areek, but a graded stakes could be the next step.

"We might have to go try," Rader said. "When they've got some pedigree and when they're going good, it's not a bad idea to get a graded-stakes placing."

My Trusty Cat is Saratoga-bound

My Trusty Cat definitely has a graded assignment on her agenda: the seven-furlong Grade 1 Ballerina at Saratoga on Aug. 27.

The Regret was My Trusty Cat's first start since a fourth-place finish in the Grade 3 Chicago Breeders' Cup Handicap at Arlington Park on June 18.

Trainer David Vance had planned to run My Trusty Cat - winner of the Grade 1 Humana Distaff Handicap at Churchill Downs in May- in the Red Cross but opted out when the track came up sloppy.

The Regret stood as the prep for the Ballerina, a race in which My Trusty Cat lost by a head last year.

Vance was hoping for a win in the Regret but realized the six-furlong distance was a little too short.

"The big mare didn't quite get it in gear quick enough," Vance said. "Three-quarters is tough for her, especially on this short stretch.

"She had a little longer break than I wanted, but this sets her up good for the race in Saratoga."

Vance didn't have much better luck with his other stakes mare on Haskell Day.

La Reason was third in 1 1/16-mile Lady's Secret, outfinished by longshots Friel's for Real and Diavla.

Baffert-trained Mother one to beat

Trainer Bob Baffert bagged Monmouth's biggest prize when Roman Ruler won the $1 million Haskell Invitational Sunday.

Baffert could be in line for another, yet smaller, payday Thursday in the featured $51,000 second-level allowance feature for New Jersey-bred fillies and mares.

He sends out Mother, a front-running allowance winner in the slop in her Monmouth debut on July 17.

Mother, 3, the 1-5 favorite that afternoon, will again be the one to beat with Aaron Gryder replacing the injured Joe Bravo in the irons.

The main competition should come from the Kevin Sleeter-trained entry of Summer Sting and Pickin Laurel, who adds blinkers.