Updated on 09/17/2011 1:21PM

Bwana Charlie best in Lafayette

Bill Straus
Bwana Charlie wins the $109,500, Grade 3 Lafayette Stakes at Keeneland on Sunday.

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Bwana Charlie was noted mainly for his size as a 2-year-old. Now a 3-year-old, his athleticism is catching up to his large frame.

Bwana Charlie won his third consecutive race and his first stakes Sunday, scoring by 3 1/4 lengths over Quick Action in the $109,500, Grade 3 at Keeneland.

Showing more speed than in his past few races, he pressed Tales of Glory and Quick Action for the early lead, and the trio raced a swift opening quarter in 21.68 seconds. A half-mile into the race, only Quick Action could keep up with the winner. They raced head and head and opened up from the pack, covering four furlongs in 44.08 seconds.

Thereafter, it was all Bwana Charlie. He pulled away from Quick Action with six furlongs in 1:10.17, and despite a slow final eighth mile, he had no trouble pulling away from his leg-weary opponents. He raced seven furlongs on a fast track in 1:24.73, paying $6.60 as the second choice in the field of six.

"He was getting a little late," said winning rider Shane Sellers. "We had some quick early fractions."

Bwana Charlie's victory came on the heels of a maiden and allowance win at Fair Grounds, and pushed his 3-year-old record to three-for-three. In his race preceding the Lafayette, Bwana Charlie won by 11 3/4 lengths.

"It took him a while physically to grow into himself," said Scott Blasi, assistant to trainer Steve Asmussen. "So we gave him time, and he has come back as a monster."

Bwana Charlie, a son of Indian Charlie, earned $67,890 for owner William Heiligbrodt of Heiligbrodt Racing Stable. His record now stands at three wins, two seconds, and three thirds in eight starts.

Quick Action finished a clear second, seven lengths in front of favored Tales Of Glory. Call Me Shane, Perpetual Peace and Wulpe completed the order of finish. Risky Trick was scratched.