Jerry Hollendorfer, the defending champion trainer at Arlington Park, has apparently conceded any chance to repeat after shipping 22 horses from his Arlington string back to his Northern California base of operations.
The large single van transport reduced Hollendorfer's Chicago string by about half.
The move would appear to ensure Arlington Park's leading trainer honors for Wayne Catalano, who was the Arlington training champion in 2000 and put up a valiant fight last season before eventually finishing second to Hollendorfer by three wins.
Going into Thursday's program, Catalano had 43 wins to Hollendorfer's 39. Currently third in the local trainer standings is Gene Cilio with 19 wins.
Included among those returning to the West Coast Thursday was Hollendorfer & Marta Racing Ventures' Christmas Time, who had finished second in the $75,000 Top Flight Stakes Aug. 31.
Christmas Time, a 2-year-old daughter of 1992 Arlington-Washington Futurity winner Gilded Time, was considered one of the stronger local representatives possible for the Arlington-Washington Lassie (gr. III) on Sept. 28.
Also leaving after spending most of the summer at Arlington is George Todaro, Howard Litt and Hollendorfer's Cappuchino, winner of the $55,000 Round Table at Bay Meadows and $55,000 Golden State Mile at Golden Gate Fields.
Remaining at the local oval, however is Peter Abruzzo & John Franks' Lost At Sea, winner of the Singapore Plate (gr. III) on Aug. 10. Lost At Sea is scheduled to make her next start in the Indiana Breeders' Cup Oaks (gr. III) at Hoosier Park Oct. 4.