AUBURN, Wash. &ndash; Mulcahy was being touted as an Emerald Downs stakes contender early this summer, but circumstances have changed, and Thursday, the former Emerald Derby champion is scheduled to face five rivals in a $7,500 claimer for older horses at 6 1/2 furlongs. Mulcahy, a 6&#45;year&#45;old, has raced just a dozen times in his star&#45;crossed career. Winless in three starts at 2, he enjoyed a profitable 3&#45;year&#45;old season in 2007, winning a maiden race in his second outing and then, after two strong efforts against winners, three consecutive stakes races to cap the Emerald meeting. But after one additional start, a fast&#45;closing third in the Seabiscuit Handicap on the grass at Bay Meadows in November 2007, Mulcahy was forced to the sideline by injuries. He stayed there for the next 31 months.Trainer Howard Belvoir, who owns the gelding with longtime client Harley Hoppe, nursed Mulcahy back to health. He returned to the races June 27 at Emerald, closing with interest to finish fourth, less than five lengths behind the winner, in a second&#45;level $50,000 optional claimer. But instead of a return engagement against top&#45;level claimers, he drops precipitously Thursday for his second start, leaving handicappers to play a guessing game. How much does Mulcahy have left?Jennifer Whitaker, who was aboard for Mulcahy&rsquo;s stakes victories three years ago, has the riding assignment. They&rsquo;ll break from post 3, with two likely pace competitors to their inside, and three stalking&#45;style sprinters to their right. If the race sets up as expected, Mulcahy will settle in near the back of the pack and try to pick off tiring horses in the final furlong.Vickys Fast Boy and A Black Thorn, both trained by Tim McCanna, figure to contest the pace. They finished in a dead heat for win in a $7,500 claimer at six furlongs in their last start July 8. Vickys Fast Boy, 6 for 13 lifetime, will be handled by leading rider Ricky Frazier. Kevin Krigger has the call on A Black Thorn. Strawberry Topper also should be popular in the wagering. He won a $12,500 claimer for nonwinners of two in May, and an open $15,000 claimer in June, before tailing off in his past two starts. He is dropping to a career&#45;low claiming level for trainer Dan Markle. Deborah Hoonan&#45;Trujillo has the ride. Others in the field are Anotation, an easy winner for $4,000 in his return from a 22&#45;month layoff, and the late&#45;running Inhoc Signo Vinces.