Mary Coven, 73, dies

Columbus, OH — Mary K. Coven, 73, beloved mother of trainer Sam Coven and ex-wife of the late notable Ohio driver-trainer Herb Coven Jr., died May 26, 2019, following a battle of several months against lung cancer.

Mary and Herb ran a powerful stable at the Warren County Fairgrounds in Lebanon, Ohio, for almost 20 years. Among the stable patrons at the height of their success were Blue Chip Farms and the partnership of Pacey Mindlin and Kenneth Cohen.

The Covens campaigned numerous great horses. Among them were Pointer Hanover, who participated in the Breeders Crown, open pacing mare Norma Ruth Hanover and the invitational star Lusty Fella.

While Herb drove and trained the large majority of the horses, hard-working Mary also possessed licenses as both a driver and trainer. She won 45 races in the sulky from 1983-1995. Her best year was 1984, when she won a dozen races and fashioned a .450 UDR. She was particularly proud of victories behind Lusty Fella at Lebanon, Latonia, Louisville Downs and Scioto Downs.

From 1991-1997 she accumulated 146 training victories, then earned three more during a one-year return to the trainer’s ranks in 2008.

Mrs. Coven was also well known for mixing a special leg paint tightener, which she was pleased to share (except the recipe) with fellow horsemen who sought her successful potion.

She was born Mary Goldman Oct. 2, 1945, in Dayton, Ohio. She met Herb at an after-school event at the Dayton Fairgrounds during high school.

She is survived by her only son, Sam; grandchildren, Sabrina, Justine, Brooklyn and Trotter; and brother, Sam Goldman.

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