02/01/2008 1:00AM

Sprint prep for Southwest


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Kinetic Motion can't hide his personality. A serious, determined colt, he also has excellent speed and is a candidate to wire a competitive field of 3-year-olds in the eighth race Sunday at Oaklawn Park.

"He's a professional," trainer Allen Milligan said of Kinetic Motion. "When he comes over, he doesn't mess around. He's all business. That's what I've always liked about him."

Kinetic Motion is part of a seven-horse field in a first-level allowance. The six-furlong race features five starters who have already run in stakes.

"When I talked to trainers for this race, they wanted a race to move their 3-year-olds along, looking towards the Southwest," said Pat Pope, racing secretary at Oaklawn.

Kinetic Motion is among the candidates for the Southwest, a Grade 3, $250,000 race at a mile here on Feb. 18. But the first order of business, Milligan said, comes Sunday. Kinetic Motion will be making his second start off a layoff. In his first start since July, on Jan. 18, he spent much of the $50,000 Dixieland racing close to a strong pace set by multiple stakes winner Yonegwa before fading to sixth.

"He got a lot out of that race," said Milligan. "He's come along nice, and I look for good things out of him."

Kinetic Motion has shown promise from the start. He won his career debut in a trial race for the $95,000 Texas Thoroughbred Association Sales Futurity last May at Lone Star Park, defeating a field that included eventual finale winner Namesake. Kinetic Motion finished second in the finale, run June 9. He broke on top, like he did in his debut, and figures to be prominent Sunday under regular rider Justin Shepherd.

"He looks like the speed of the race," Milligan said, "but if something goes, then we'll sit off of them."

The chief threat could be Hi Steppin Kat. He just missed in a first-level allowance at Philadelphia Park on Dec. 10 to earn a Beyer Speed Figure of 76. That is the highest last-race number in Sunday's field. Calvin Borel has the mount for trainer John Servis.

There is a special first post of 1:05 p.m. Central because of the Super Bowl.