06/05/2012 10:44 EDT | Updated 08/05/2012 05:12 EDT

Mediator brought in to settle NYRA-union dispute at Belmont as final leg of Triple Crown nears

NEW YORK, N.Y. - A mediator will attempt to settle a labour dispute at Belmont Park that threatens to scratch I'll Have Another's chance of winning thoroughbred racing's first Triple Crown in more than 30 years.

An official with the union representing maintenance and starting gate workers at the racetrack, which straddles the Queens-Nassau County line, says a mediator is meeting Tuesday morning with the New York Racing Association and union leaders.

About 150 union members at NYRA's Belmont, Aqueduct and Saratoga tracks have been working without a contract since February 2011. The workers last month authorized a strike over overtime and scheduling.

A strike would disrupt Saturday's running of the Belmont Stakes, the final jewel in the Triple Crown. I'll Have Another is trying become the first horse to win the Triple Crown since Affirmed in 1978.