Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Plate (A).

 Plaster of Paris.Plat’en, 
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Plate (A).
A race in which a prize is given out of the race fund, or from some other source, without any stakes being made by the owners of the horses engaged. Usually entrance money is required. (See SWEEPSTAKES, HANDICAP, PLATE, SELLING RACE, WEIGHT-FOR-AGE RACE.)   1
   Plate, meaning silver, is the Spanish plata.   2

 Plaster of Paris.Plat’en, 

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