This track was allowed to remain open during World War II because of its agreement to give 92% of its profits towards the war effort. The track generated more than $4 million for War Relief Projects in two years. In 1945, the first racehorse transported by plane, El Lobo, was set down in the parking lot. Stanley Kubrick shot all of the exterior scenes heist movie The Killing were filmed at Bay Meadows and even though the track was renamed for the movie, the Bay Meadows name is visible in at least one early scene in the movie.
The California Horse Racing Board announced that Bay Meadows intended to close on November 4, 2006. In July 2007, the California Horse Racing Board unanimously voted to approve a one-year exemption for Bay Meadows to continue horse racing in 2008. The track failed to acquire a 2-year extension of the deadline to replace its dirt oval track with a track with an artificial surface that was safer for the horses. The last official race was run on August 17, 2008.