Santa Anita is tentatively scheduled to run four days a week in January and February of 2011, one fewer day per week than in 2010, track president George Haines said Tuesday.\r\nThe track&rsquo;s application for a 76-day winter-spring meeting from Dec. 26 to April 17 will be presented to the California Horse Racing Board at its next meeting Nov. 9.\r\nHaines said the move to a four-day week&nbsp;- Thursdays to Sundays - comes after a &ldquo;study of the horse population&rdquo; in Southern California. The number of horses based in Southern California has dropped to a current level of approximately 2,800, a loss of more than 1,000 horses in recent years.\r\nIn March and April of 2011, Haines said that Santa Anita will conduct racing five days per week, on the traditional Wednesday-through-Sunday basis.\r\n&ldquo;We&rsquo;re still finalizing our plans,&rdquo; Haines said.\r\nHe said the reduction in racing days &ldquo;should make the quality better on the weekends.&rdquo;\r\nThe track will have two five-day weeks on the weeks of Jan. 17 and Feb. 21 to host racing on the Mondays that are national holidays. During the Christmas and New Year&rsquo;s holidays, the track will run Dec. 26-27, have no racing on Dec. 28 and then run from Wednesday, Dec. 29 through Sunday, Jan. 2.\r\nAt the 2009-10 winter-spring meeting, Santa Anita ran 78 days of racing after canceling five days of racing because of poor drainage on the Pro-Ride synthetic track. The surface is being replaced by a conventional dirt surface this fall.\r\nThe removal of the synthetic track will begin Monday, Haines said. He said Santa Anita is within a week of announcing the sort of dirt that will be used on the new surface.\r\n&ldquo;We&rsquo;re still finalizing what we&rsquo;ll use as the surface material,&rdquo; he said.\r\nHaines said the sand component of the new surface will be &ldquo;river-bottom sand,&rdquo; which is preferred by horsemen to manufactured sand for its kinder nature during wet conditions.\r\n&ldquo;We&rsquo;re working with the horsemen, and they are part of this process,&rdquo; Haines said.\r\nThe proposed material is likely to come from California and will undergo tests at the universities of Maine and California-Davis to see how the material handles stress from mechanical hooves. Haines describes the studies as &ldquo;composition, compaction, and cohesion testing&rdquo; of the surface.\r\nThe track has yet to receive a waiver from the racing board to install a dirt track. The racing board in 2007 issued a mandate for all major tracks in the state to install synthetic tracks, but in recent months the board has been supportive of Santa Anita&rsquo;s transition to a dirt track.\r\nThe material will be installed on the track this fall, with horses expected to begin training on the surface in early December.