07/29/2003 11:00PM

Joe Torre buys into French filly

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DEL MAR, Calif. - Joe Torre, the manager of the New York Yankees, has bought a share in Cellamare, who will make her U.S. debut in Saturday's $150,000 San Clemente Handicap at Del Mar.

Torre will share ownership of the French import with Terry Lanni and Bernie Schiappa. Torre and Schiappa met during a golf tournament in Hawaii.

"He has a love for horses just like I do," Schiappa said. "That's how it got started."

Torre and Yankees coach Don Zimmer attended the races at Del Mar on Monday, an off day for the Yankees, who defeated the Anaheim Angels on Tuesday.

Cellamare has won three races in France and arrived in California last week.

"She seems like a nice filly, and we're just taking a shot," trainer Frank Monteleone said.

The Grade 2 San Clemente is run over a mile on turf. The field is led by Atlantic Ocean, the third-place finisher in the American Oaks on July 6. Other probables are Buffythecentefold, Bukat Timah, Katdogawn, and Welcome Millenium.